Global sustainability development consultancy Arup has been commissioned to support Northern Gas Networks (NGN), to undertake a pre-FEED study for the East Coast Hydrogen (ECH) project, focusing on areas within their network including Teesside and the Humber.

ECH, a joint initiative between the gas network operators Cadent, NGN and National Grid Gas Transmission, aims to connect 10GW of hydrogen production to the gas network in northeast England, supporting the UK Government’s plans to meet their 2050 net-zero targets.

The 15-year programme of works will be carried out in discrete phases to decarbonise the NGN network, with the Pre-FEED study forming part of Phase 1 and is due to conclude mid-2023.

The rest of Phase 1 runs until 2026 and includes the FEED study and development of East Coast Cluster Infrastructure.

The work will involve four important phases:

  • Data mining and information gathering

  • Assessment of information and commencing the development of the reports, leading to the first deliverables which include demand, production, and storage studies

  • Development of a modelling brief to confirm how many options should be modelled and to what level of detail for the next phase of the study. These options will be modelled in collaboration with NGN. The optioneering phase will be a collaborative exercise with NGN consisting of a Multi Criteria Assessments (MCA) to assess the various options created in relation to the findings of the network modelling, routing assessments and how it meets the demand and production scenarios.

When the preferred options have been identified the next phase of the study will be to develop the design with enough information to complete a FEED study. Preparation for FEED will include input into routing corridors, a list of new assets required, and an understanding of what assets can be repurposed. An assessment of the general and specific project challenges with this option will be documented separately.

Arup has years of combined experience working on cross-country pipeline routings, alongside designing AGIs, Compressor Station modifications and pressures reduction stations. 

Once completed, East Coast Hydrogen aims to deliver thousands of highly skilled jobs, and significant inward investment, positioning the UK as a global leader in hydrogen.

NGN look forward to working with Arup and the extensive experience in hydrogen that the Arup team will bring to the project. ECH will be key to enabling the hydrogen economy to grow from the initial Teesside and Humber clusters and bring a viable option for achieving net zero to the whole of the NGN network area.

Chris Verity

Senior Project Manager for Hydrogen, NGN

Hydrogen will have a key role to play in decarbonising industry and Arup’s recent contribution to the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan and Teesside Hydrogen Vision demonstrate the environmental, economic and social potential in the Northeast of England. This study will consider many of the projects already identified through these regional strategies that are key for both importation, production and storage of hydrogen. Achieving net-zero will only be achieved if we can continue to tackle the challenge together and we look forward to working closely with NGN and their partners to understand the possible scenarios for the ECH project.

Steve Saunders

Director, Arup