Why the Tyne has been chosen for Lhyfe’s first UK green hydrogen plant

Offshore Site

Image courtesy of Shepherd Offshore

Earlier this year, the creator of the world’s first industrial green hydrogen production site unveiled plans for its first UK site, here on the Tyne, with plans to produce up to eight tonnes of green hydrogen per day. 

We spoke to Lhyfe UK & Ireland’s Boris Davis to find out why Lhyfe believes the Tyne is the best place to power the group’s UK expansion. 

What was it about the Tyne that made Lhyfe choose it as the location for its first UK plant?

Well, the decision to set up our first UK plant on the Tyne, specifically Wallsend, was really a combination of factors.

Firstly, the Tyne provides this fantastic industrial backdrop that’s just ripe for transitioning to green hydrogen production. Industries such as glass, chemicals, cement, steelmaking, and large vehicles like buses and trucks all need to decarbonise their operations, and the Tyne offers the infrastructure we need to make that happen seamlessly.

But beyond that, the area offers something special. There’s this pool of skilled workers here, and the supply chains are robust. It’s the perfect recipe for a successful operation. Plus, there’s a real commitment to sustainability in the region, which resonates with our mission at Lhyfe.

And what makes the North East in general a good location for renewable energy businesses?

We firmly believe that the North East has extraordinary potential to spearhead the green industrial revolution, mainly because of its rich history of technical and engineering innovation. 

The region has always been at the forefront of pioneering advancements, and now, with the transition to net zero in full swing, it’s an incredibly exciting time.

The UK’s ambitious plans, such as producing 10GW of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030, present a massive opportunity for growth. Hydrogen home heating trials, such as those by HyDeploy in Winlaton and Northern Gas Networks at Low Thornley, demonstrate an appetite to get things done.

For Lhyfe, choosing Newcastle as our UK headquarters was an obvious decision. The city, alongside the entire region, possesses immense potential and a robust connection to renewables. Additionally, there’s cutting-edge hydrogen research already underway, fitting perfectly with our vision for sustainable energy solutions.

Plus, with our deep-sea ports, we’re in a prime position to lead the way in green hydrogen for maritime use. And let’s not forget the talent pool here. With a foundation built from the oil and gas industry, we’ve got a skilled workforce ready to pivot towards green hydrogen. 

It’s an incredible time to be in the North East, with our universities right on our doorstep providing all the research and development capabilities we need to keep pushing boundaries in renewable energy.

How is Lhyfe’s partnership with Shepherd Offshore strengthening the project?

Shepherd Offshore brings invaluable expertise and experience in managing and developing industrial sites, which plays a crucial role in the successful establishment of our proposed Lhyfe Wallsend plant.

They’ve transformed the Neptune Energy Park, our intended site of operation, into a vibrant manufacturing and education hub. Their deep understanding of the local area and existing infrastructure ensures a seamless integration process.

Moreover, Shepherd Offshore’s commitment to sustainability perfectly aligns with our mission at Lhyfe. By teaming up, we can tap into our combined resources and networks to drive innovation and speed up the adoption of green hydrogen across the region.

What are Lhyfe’s long term ambitions for its presence in the UK and in the North East?

Our ambitions at Lhyfe extend far beyond just establishing a presence. We’re here to make a meaningful impact in the UK and specifically in the North East. 

With the climate crisis at our door and energy costs weighing heavily on households and businesses, the urgency to transition away from fossil fuels has never been more pressing.

Our goal is to support both regional and national net-zero targets by meeting the increasing demand from companies looking to reduce their reliance on natural gas and other fossil fuels. 

We aim to emerge as a major supplier to energy-intensive industries and transportation sectors, thus bolstering the country’s energy security while also creating new economic opportunities.

Looking further ahead, we harbour ambitions to pioneer offshore hydrogen production, capitalising on the vast potential of offshore wind resources that the UK possesses.

What impact do you think the development of the plant will have on other businesses based on the Tyne? And on the communities nearby?

We strongly believe in working closely with our partners and communities to develop projects that bring tangible benefits to the local area. This remains a key focus as we expand our operations to meet the growing demand for clean energy.

With our extensive experience in Europe, we understand the vital role our presence can play in driving local economic growth. By integrating ourselves within the community, we aim to stimulate economic activity by creating new business opportunities and attracting investments. It will help established local businesses reduce their carbon footprint, ensuring a sustainable future.

Additionally, the development of Lhyfe Wallsend presents an exciting opportunity to establish a Knowledge Centre for Renewable Energy in collaboration with local educational institutions. This partnership will not only advance research but also position North Tyneside as a leader in renewable energy initiatives, contributing to the long-term prosperity of the region.

Find out more about Lhyfe’s plans for a green hydrogen plant on the Tyne here

Would you like to Tyne Power your business? 

There are more sites available for development now along the Tyne. You can see a list of sites here and find out more about locating here by contacting Will Bevin-Nicholls on William.Bevin-Nicholls@northtyneside.gov.uk or 07815 028649.