The cluster includes hundreds of refineries, factories and the Drax coal-fired power plant near the Humber estuary. About 55,000 jobs and a local industrial economy worth £18bn a year are involved. However, the region is also responsible for the highest concentration of industrial emissions in the country, undermining the UK’s goal to become a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
The alliance plans to trial innovative technology to capture and store carbon emissions from factory and power plant flues before they enter the atmosphere. It also hopes to use carbon capture while breaking down natural gas to create hydrogen, which can be used in industry, heating and transport without creating climate emissions.