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Mott MacDonald unveils masterplan for UK’s first hydrogen transport hub

Mott MacDonald has unveiled its masterplan for the UK’s first ever multi-modal hydrogen transport hub for the UK Department for Transport (DfT). Development of the hub, based on Teesside, will be kickstarted with £3m in government funding and could be fully operational by 2025 – creating up to 10,000 new jobs in the north-east over the next 30 years.

Working together with the DfT, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Tees Valley Combined Authority, Mott MacDonald developed the costed masterplan for the multimodal transport hub in Tees Valley.

The first of its kind, it will bring together government, industry, and academia, to focus research and development, testing and trials across all transport modes to build back greener after the pandemic and inform future investment decisions and export opportunities.

The hub comprises a set of facilities that includes green hydrogen production, storage, distribution, and refuelling stations from which existing and evolving transport networks and services can feed. It will act as a test bed to help understand the role of hydrogen as part of the energy transition in the transport sector. This will accelerate the development and commercialisation of hydrogen transport solutions to help meet current and future public and business needs.

Pop-up trials could see shops, supermarkets, online retailers, warehouse operators and delivery companies using hydrogen-powered transport to move goods and carry out last-mile deliveries. It could also see local transport operators working with the transport sector to deliver emission-free hydrogen passenger services, such as on demand regional buses, or zero-emission refuse vehicles.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “The hub will establish the UK as a global leader in hydrogen technology, paving the way for its use across all transport modes and propelling us towards our net zero goals.”

Mike Haigh, Mott MacDonald’s executive chair, said: “We fully support the UK government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 and to the development of hydrogen as a fuel source. The hydrogen transport hub will benefit from the abundance of skills in the region, delivering green and inclusive recovery, starting in Tees Valley. It will also help deliver future energy sources and transport technology accessible to all.”

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “From offshore wind manufacturing, carbon capture utilisation and storage and hydrogen, make no mistake Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are at the forefront of powering forward the UK’s clean energy ambitions. Our region already produces more than 50% of the UK’s hydrogen so it was a no-brainer for the government to set up the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub in Teesside so we can lead the way in developing the technology and fully unleash our area’s potential as we build back greener.

“Teesside has led the world in steel manufacturing and engineering for generations. Now we are leading the world in the industries of the future and creating clean good quality, well paid jobs in the process.”