Decarbonising UK Industry boosted by funding for South Wales

Apr 30 2020

The funding will support the first phase of the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) Roadmap and Deployment projects which will seek to identify the best options for cost-effective decarbonisation of industry in South Wales.

The projects will look at the infrastructure required for the development of the hydrogen economy, for large scale CO2 capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and transport as well as onsite strategic opportunities specific to each industry. 
Not only will the projects make a vital contribution to the UK’s journey to net zero 2050, they have the potential to strengthen the economic resilience of Welsh industry and communities by ensuring operations in the region are sustainable for the long term.
Chris Williams, of Tata Steel and FLEXIS, interim lead of the SWIC said, “These projects present an opportunity to combine the various decarbonisation programs in South Wales into a single roadmap and infrastructure deployment plan, thus supporting Wales’ net zero ambitions. This regional plan will enable industry to determine its decarbonisation options and so support the development of a clean growth strategy for Welsh industry and provide a sustainable industrial base for future generations.”
SWIC comprises a diverse set of industries including oil refining, paper, nickel, insulation, chemicals, LNG import, coin production, general manufacturing, steel and cement. If the SWIC proceeds successfully through the various phases of the UK government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, it would stimulate significant clean growth, creating more jobs and opening up opportunities nationally and internationally for UK businesses. It would also enhance the UK’s ability to locally manufacture cement and steel products with low carbon emissions, helping to drive the low carbon future of UK construction and other sectors such as defence, car manufacturing and coin production. 
The Roadmap project led by CR Plus, the sustainable cost reduction, energy efficiency and project engineering consultancy, will include the partners RWE, Progressive Energy, University of South Wales, Celsa Manufacturing, Tata Steel, the Port of Milford Haven and Vale Europe. It will draw heavily on the Deployment project and smaller, local hub solutions to deliver a plan that establishes a series of local zero carbon areas that will lower local emissions, create skilled jobs, improve air quality and enhance well-being across the South Wales region. 
The phase one Deployment project focuses on the potential to create collaborative projects in areas with a significant portion of the economic activity in South Wales: Port Talbot with Tata Steel’s integrated steelworks, Aberthaw with Tarmac’s Cement Works and Milford Haven with Valero Energy’s Refinery and RWE’s CCGT Power Plant. 
Led by smart infrastructure solutions provider, Costain, the Deployment project, will bring together partners Tata Steel, Tarmac, RWE, Valero Energy, Progressive Energy, CR Plus, Capital Law, Flexible Process Consultants and the University of South Wales to collaboratively identify ways to tackle common and unique challenges of decarbonisation and clean growth, ultimately helping the UK to establish the world’s first net zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 and at least one low carbon cluster by 2030.
Work on the larger, potential anchor projects and other industrial sites in South Wales will identify process improvements and assess the viability of clean fuels to reduce carbon emissions, as well as look at Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS), identifying what existing infrastructure can be used and what new infrastructure will be required.
Together the projects will look to provide the capacity for a future circular economy so that in the long term, captured carbon that cannot be used locally by other industries such as agriculture will be shipped to national CCUS facilities such as HyNet at Liverpool Bay or Acorn at St Fergus. SWIC will also develop options and solutions to support regional hydrogen deployment in order to facilitate net zero carbon by 2050. 
This first phase is a step towards securing a further share of the £131m allocated to the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is a key component of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy.

South Wales Industrial Cluster

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