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FAQs

Overall HyNet North West project

HyNet represents a collection of world-leading organisations coming together to build a game-changing energy project, which aims to reduce carbon emissions from industry, and support economic growth in the North West of England and North Wales in the UK’s challenge to meet net zero carbon emissions.

HyNet will provide carbon capture, transport and storage with the potential to reduce carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions from industry by up to 10 million tonnes every year by 2030 – the equivalent of taking four million cars off the road. It will also deliver a low carbon hydrogen network that will produce, store and distribute hydrogen to decarbonise the North West of England and North Wales.

HyNet’s aims and principles for the transportation and storage of carbon dioxide have been backed by the Government’s Department of Energy Security and Net Zero DESNZ).


Eni is developing a carbon dioxide transportation and storage system that will serve the Hynet industrial decarbonisation cluster by transporting the CO₂ from capture plants and storing it safely in depleted reservoirs under Liverpool Bay.

The aims and principles for the transportation and storage will have a capacity of 4.5 million tonnes of CO₂ per year in the first phase, with the potential to increase up to 10 million tonnes of CO₂ per year after 2030.


Depleted gas reservoirs have held natural gas for geological time which makes them an excellent solution for CCS. As the owner and operator of the Liverpool Bay gas reservoirs, Eni UK has managed the reservoirs for many years. Our expertise in this field makes us the best placed partner to lead the CO₂ transportation and storage project within the HyNet Cluster.

Reusing existing natural gas infrastructure for CO₂ transport and storage minimises the capital cost of HyNet. Typically, operators and Government both share the costs of decommissioning oil and gas assets. By repurposing the depleted gas reservoirs, HyNet negates the need to decommission them, significantly reducing the burden on UK taxpayers.

The proximity within the North West to sites for CO₂ storage means this is the lowest-cost CCS solution in the UK.


You can find out more about the overall HyNet project by visiting: www.hynet.co.uk or following HyNet on its social media channels:

  • hynet_nw on Instagram
  • HyNet North West on Facebook
  • @HyNetNW on X
  • HyNet on LinkedIn

Spur pipeline overview

As part of the HyNet project delivery of a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) system to decarbonise the North West of England and North Wales, the HyNet Spur Pipeline Proposed Developments will provide three routes for compressed CO₂ to be safely transported between approved industrial sites and the CO₂ storage facilities in Liverpool Bay.


CO₂ emissions from the industry cluster across the North West of England and North Wales need to be transported safely to the CCS storage sites underneath Liverpool Bay. It is very important that we transfer the captured CO₂ to the storage sites in a safe and reliable way. This requires substantial infrastructure that can safely contain CO₂ and withstand the environment in which it is placed.

The HyNet Carbon Dioxide Pipeline, which was granted development consent in March 2024, will run from Ince in the North West of England to join with an existing pipeline just outside Flint in North Wales, which will be repurposed to transport CO₂ to the Point of Ayr Terminal and then onwards to the storage sites up to 1km under the seabed in Liverpool Bay. These storage sites have previously held natural gas for millions of years and will be repurposed to safely store the CO₂ from industrial emitters as part of the HyNet project.

In order to transport the CO₂ captured from industrial emitters across the region the Spur Pipelines are required to connect these capture plants within the wider HyNet Industrial Decarbonisation Cluster to the HyNet Carbon Dioxide Pipeline. To achieve this, three spur pipelines will be required which will connect capture plants into the Above Ground Installations located on the HyNet Carbon Dioxide Pipeline and consented within the HyNet Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Development Consent Order (DCO).

These additional spur pipelines are not considered within the current HyNet Carbon Dioxide Pipeline DCO application and will be considered for planning permission separately under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).

These three spur pipelines are outlined below.

  1. The Protos Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development, connecting the Encyclis Protos ERF to the Ince AGI.
  2. The Padeswood Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development, connecting the Heidelburg Materials UK Cement Plant at Padeswood to the Northop Hall AGI.
  3. The Runcorn Padeswood Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development, connecting the Viridor EfW facility to the Ince AGI.

The gas reservoirs in Liverpool Bay are now depleted and gas sales have ceased. The reservoirs are uniquely placed close to the industrial heartland of the North West of England and North Wales to make them the ideal storage site for the HyNet Cluster. The gas fields beneath Liverpool Bay provide safe, long-term storage for CO₂ as they have held natural gas for geological time.

Planning process

Each of the HyNet Spur Pipeline Proposed Developments will seek planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).

Specifically:

  • To gain consent to build the Protos Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development, Liverpool Bay CCS Limited (the Applicant) has prepared a planning application, which was submitted as a Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) application to Cheshire West and Chester Council on 4 March 2024.
  • To gain consent to build the Runcorn Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development, Liverpool Bay CCS Limited (the Applicant) will prepare planning applications, which will be submitted as Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) applications to Cheshire West & Chester Council and Halton Borough Council in early 2025.
  • To gain consent to build the Padeswood Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development, Liverpool Bay CCS (the Applicant) will prepare a planning application, which will be submitted as a Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) application to Flintshire County Council in early 2025.

If a development is considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), it undergoes the process set out under Planning Act 2008 – all other planning applications undergo the process set out under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) (TCPA 1990). As the spur pipelines are not considered NSIPs, the Local Councils (Flintshire County Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Halton Borough Council) will assess the planning applications and determine a decision against the criteria of the TCPA 1990.

The HyNet Carbon Dioxide Pipeline is classified as an NSIP and was granted a Development Consent Order by the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero on 20 March 2024.


We are currently preparing planning applications for each of the Runcorn and Padeswood HyNet Spur Pipeline Proposed Developments. As part of preparing these applications, we will engage with stakeholders and the community to gather feedback to help shape and finalise the designs.

This process will include conducting surveys and completing our assessment of the potential environmental impacts of the scheme.

Other parts of HyNet are also going through separate planning applications and consenting processes, and you can find out about the other projects at https://hynet.co.uk.

Timelines

  • For Protos Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development, Liverpool Bay CCS Limited (the Applicant) submitted a Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) application to Cheshire West and Chester Council on 4 March 2024.
  • For Runcorn Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development, the Liverpool Bay CCS Limited (the Applicant) plans to submit Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) applications to Cheshire West and Chester Council and Halton Borough Council application in early 2025.
  • For Padeswood Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development, Liverpool Bay CCS (the Applicant) plans to submit a Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) application to Flintshire County Council in early 2025.

Communications and engagement

Detailed information on the project and updates on our progress can be found on our website www.hynethub.co.uk. You may also like to receive our regular newsletter, which features the latest information on the Proposed Developments. Sign up for the newsletter by clicking here.

We are currently carrying out early engagement with stakeholders and the local community on the Runcorn and Padeswood Proposed Developments, ahead of holding a consultation period for both spur pipelines later in 2024. As the project develops, we will add further information to the HyNet Hub.

We are committed to making project information accessible to all users. If you have any specific project questions, or suggestions regarding the accessibility of this site, please email us on hello@hynethub.co.uk.


If you have any questions or comments, please email us on hello@hynethub.co.uk.

Consultation

To gain consent to build the Protos Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development, Liverpool Bay CCS Limited (the Applicant) has prepared a planning application, which was submitted as a Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) application to Cheshire West and Chester Council on 4 March 2024. The planning application documents will be available to view on the Cheshire West and Chester Council planning portal shortly.

Liverpool Bay CCS Limited is now preparing planning applications to gain consent to build the Runcorn Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development and the Padeswood Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline Proposed Development. You can read high-level information about both spur pipelines, including a broad pipeline corridor route, on the HyNet Hub. More detailed proposals for both will be shared during their consultation periods later this year.


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Once the consultation period is over, we will gather the feedback we have received about the project from local people and stakeholders and this information will be documented and taken into account for the final planning application. We will make a summary of that feedback available in a consultation report and will publish this on the HyNet Hub website, so that you can see what you told us, and understand in greater detail how we are taking that information on board.

To register for up-to-date news and information about the consultation and the project, please email us on: hello@hynethub.co.uk.


Yes. We know that the people who live and work in the local area are critical to the success of this project, and we want to start an ongoing conversation with you, working together to shape a scheme that best fits the needs of local communities.

Your views are very important for helping us to shape the proposals that we will submit as part of our planning application.

We will promote the HyNet Spur Pipeline Proposed Developments across multiple platforms to ensure that you have the opportunity to have your say. If you would like to receive project updates, including notifications about the consultation, please sign up for the HyNet newsletter here.

Environment

In order to begin rapid decarbonisation, HyNet is focused on working quickly to reduce harmful carbon emissions from local industry and cleaning up air quality in the region using carbon capture and storage (CCS).

CCS is a safe and proven technology that captures carbon dioxide where it is being produced and locks it away, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere, where it is a major contributor to climate change.

We will look to reduce the impact on the local environment as much as possible. To help this process, we want to start an ongoing conversation with you, working together to shape a scheme that best fits the needs of local communities.

Before applying for consent for the Runcorn and Padeswood Proposed Developments, we will need to undertake a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This will look at the impact the Proposed Developments will have on the environment and describe all the mitigation measures we will put in place. We will consult you on any potential environmental impacts the project might have, and ways of mitigating them, before applying for consent to develop the scheme.

The impact that the construction of the three spur pipeline proposed developments will have on habitats will be minimised wherever possible in accordance with the mitigation hierarchy. Where impacts cannot be avoided, they will be mitigated and then compensated for. Accordingly, as part of the planning process Liverpool Bay CCS Limited will be acquiring land to mitigate any habitat losses.

In addition to this, a number of other landowners are being engaged with to provide land for the scheme, in which priority habitats can be established to ensure that the project brings a biodiversity net gain/benefit to ecosystems in both Wales and England.

Health and safety


Oil and gas operators are used to ensuring the highest safety standards in their operations. The transition to CCS will be approached in the same way. Any CCS project, its infrastructure and operation will be strictly regulated by the UK Government.

Throughout all the phases of operation, CO₂ transportation, injection and its safe containment within the reservoir will be carefully monitored using state of the art techniques (including but not limited to geophysical surveys, pressure sensors, seabed surveys and dedicated monitoring wells).

The pipelines are designed and will be operated and maintained in compliance with well-established standards and industry best practices, which together with detailed safety assessments will ensure the potential for any leakage of CO₂ is minimised and risks are acceptable. The pipeline network will be fitted with leak detection systems and in the event of any leakage the pipeline can be safely shut in.

Eni UK Ltd is actively engaging with the UK Health and Safety Executive (the UK Safety Regulator, including for pipelines) to ensure that the pipeline development and its operation are compliant with all relevant regulations and guidance.

Gas has remained safely trapped in geological structures such as sandstone reservoirs, like the ones in Liverpool Bay, for millions of years. These reservoirs are deep below the surface of the seabed. The Liverpool Bay CO₂ store will be up to 1km below the seabed and approximately 20 miles offshore. Hundreds of metres of shale lie over the top of these sandstone reservoirs, making an impermeable layer which traps the gas in place. The CO₂ will be stored in the same way as the original natural gas. It will remain safely contained in the sandstone reservoirs.

Construction

Our timeline for delivery relies entirely on consent to develop the HyNet Spur Pipelines from the local authorities. The application process is complicated, and we will carry out a number of engagement activities before we can submit our application.

Once consent is granted, we intend to begin construction straight away – and expect this to be between 2025 and 2026. We do not yet know how long this will take, as it is dependent on the specific design we progress, although we will keep local communities informed throughout the process.

Subject to approvals from DESNZ, it is expected that starting from 2027 Eni’s Transportation and Storage system for the HyNet project will have a capacity of 4.5 million tonnes of CO₂ per year in the first phase, with the potential to increase up to 10 million tonnes of CO₂ per year after 2030.

If you would like to receive updates about the scheme’s progress, please email us at hello@hynethub.co.uk.