The consented site formerly hosted gas holders. Credit: Hygen

Step forward for Bradford hydrogen project

Partners Hygen and N-Gen have secured the go-ahead to develop the former Birkshall gas storage operation on Bowling Back Lane into a refuelling facility for buses and other users.

Hygen said that its aim is to produce enough hydrogen to replace 800 diesel-fuelled buses a day with zero emissions hydrogen buses on West Yorkshire’s roads.

The Bradford Low Carbon Hydrogen development is expected to produce low carbon hydrogen which can be used to decarbonise vehicles and industry. At the end of 2023, the scheme became the largest yet to be awarded funding through the government’s Hydrogen Production Business Model, with the plant having the capacity to produce around 12.5 tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The hydrogen will be produced through electrolysis, using renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Jamie Burns, director at Hygen, said: “The granting of planning permission is a significant step in the development of a facility which will provide enormous benefits to the people of Bradford and the surrounding area.

“Along with our partners, we have worked tirelessly to develop these plans, which will provide a blueprint for how complex projects like this can be delivered, boosting the hydrogen and green economies of the UK.”

Gareth Mills, managing director at N-Gen, said: “We are extremely proud to be bringing a flagship hydrogen production facility and significant investment to Bradford. The site was once home to gas holders, which stored natural gas used by the residents and businesses in Bradford, so it is fitting that the site will continue its heritage and now be used for the production and storage of hydrogen, a cleaner fuel.

“We expect the facility to be a valuable addition to the Bradford economy, providing a viable way for local businesses to decarbonise, as well as attracting new companies and jobs to the area, by placing the city at the forefront of the transition to clean energy.”

Businesses and other users in West Yorkshire will be able to use the refuelling facilities on site, with distributor Ryze delivering hydrogen to industrial users across the region.

Hydrogen is a multi-purpose fuel which can be used as a replacement for natural gas in heating and industrial processes, and for replacing diesel in heavy goods vehicles including buses, trains and lorries.

 The use of hydrogen is being supported and funded by the government as it produces no carbon when burned, meaning it can help with the challenge of tackling climate change.

Projects are advancing across the country, with North East projects including plans in Teesside and through French firm Lhyfe in Wallsend; while HyNet is pushing on with plans at Ellesmere Port’s Stanlow refinery site in the North West.

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