Government Transport Minister Rachel Maclean has visited the Tees Valley to meet Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and announce that the UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Centre would be built in the region.
When established, the centre will lead research, development and testing of new hydrogen transport technologies, including for cars, buses, trains, lorries, boats and planes.
Mayor Houchen and Rachel Maclean visited TWI in Middlesbrough to announce the new centre, which will be built next to TWI in partnership with Teesside University forming a new innovation campus focused on clean energy research and development.
Mayor Houchen and the Minister toured the site to learn more about the work done at TWI and discussed plans for the new centre, which is expected to be operational within 18 months. They also discussed other clean energy projects in the Tees Valley, including Net Zero Teesside and the UK’s first successful trial of e-scooters.
The centre will complement the new Tees Valley Net Zero Innovation Centre, creating a national hub for hydrogen research and development, further strengthening the region’s clean growth ambitions while paving the way for hundreds of more clean energy jobs.
Combined with renewable electricity, hydrogen can be produced, stored and used to generate heat and electricity without producing any greenhouse gases or air pollutants.
The knock-on benefits of a strong hydrogen economy include adding up to £7billion to the region’s economy from now until 2050, creating thousands of jobs in the process. The UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Centre would sit alongside plans to build the world’s biggest hydrogen refuelling station in the region.
Mayor Houchen said: “It was great to be able to welcome the Minister to Teesside today to announce the new National Hydrogen Transport will be built in our region. I’ve called for this for some time and I am delighted government has recognised our potential and made this happen.
“In just 18 months, Teesside will become a national centre of excellence for hydrogen, researching and developing all the latest hydrogen technology for cars, trains, buses, lorries, boats and planes, showing once again we are at the forefront of UK clean growth and investment.
“Teesside has led the world in steel manufacturing and engineering for generations. Now we can become a trail blazer in the industries of the future creating good quality, clean, 21st century jobs for local people.”
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “As we continue to build on our greenprint for the future post-Covid19 we know that to really harness the power of transport to improve our country – and to set a global gold standard – we must truly embed change.
“That’s why I’m delighted that we’re blazing a trail once again with Tees Valley becoming the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub, pioneering the drive forward to develop the more sustainable, greener forms of transport hydrogen will bring.”