60km carbon-capture pipeline gets green light

A mega-pipeline that will carry carbon dioxide from Cheshire to Flintshire has got the go-ahead.

The HyNet Carbon Dioxide Pipeline will run 60.4km from Flintshire in North Wales to Cheshire, transporting carbon dioxide from energy sites across the north of England and north Wales to a storage facility in Liverpool Bay.

Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Claire Coutinho gave the project the go-ahead on Wednesday (20 March), after the Planning Inspectorate recommended that the project should get the green light last December.

According to the inspectorate, the project has the potential to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by up to 10 million tonnes every year by the early 2030s.

About 36.4km of the line will be entirely new, while the rest will be repurposed from existing natural gas pipelines. The line itself will run underground at a depth of between 2.5 and 6 metres.

Developer Liverpool Bay CCS Ltd said the pipeline will be able to carry about 4.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, and that it designed the pipeline to last for 40 years.

According to Glenigan, the project to build the pipeline is worth £403.31m.

The Planning Inspectorate did voice concerns around how some installations above ground will “materially reduce the openness of the green belt”, but argued that the carbon-saving gains and employment opportunities outweigh those issues.

It noted that the project would result in £5bn of capital investment in the 2030s and would therefore create “thousands of jobs annually”.

The project itself makes up part of a wider HyNet development that will include a hydrogen-power development and storage system in Northwich and pipes to transport hydrogen power for use across the North West of England.

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