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Huge boost for ground breaking Humber Zero project

18 March 2021

Humber Zero, a ground-breaking green project that will protect thousands of Humber Bank jobs, has moved a step closer after securing significant Government funding. The £1.2-billion Humber Zero project will invest an initial £25-million in developing technology to capture and safely store carbon emitted by the Immingham industrial cluster, radically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This significant investment will enable Humber Zero to support the development of the first carbon capture and hydrogen hub, provide a platform for demonstrating critical deep decarbonisation technologies on an industrial and commercial scale, and develop storage opportunities to industry and the National Grid.

Innovate UK will invest £12.5-million into a project which aims to reduce carbon emissions by up to 8 million tonnes per annum by the mid-2020s. The investment is match-funded by the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery and combined heat and power plant VPI-Immingham, which form the Immingham industrial cluster on which Humber Zero is centred.

The £1.2-billion Humber Zero project is expected to create 2,500 jobs during construction, 200 permanent jobs, and safeguards 20,000 direct and indirect jobs on the River Humber’s South Bank. A further phase of the project aims to produce hydrogen at scale for immediate use and fuel switching from natural gas to hydrogen to decarbonise the Immingham industrial site.

Phillips 66 UK Decarbonisation Lead and Technical Manager at the Humber Refinery, Chris Gilbert, said it was “great news for the Humber and a further endorsement for Humber Zero. The Phillips 66 Humber Refinery and VPI Generation’s combined heat and power plant are ideally situated to connect to offshore carbon capture and storage. Humber Zero is ready to be a major part of the energy transition in the region.

“Humber represents 40% of the nation’s industrial emissions and Humber Zero will capture up to 8-million tonnes per annum of CO2 for transportation and storage in nearby locations by the mid to late 2020s. Decarbonisation in the Humber is crucial to hitting the Government’s zero carbon emissions target by 2050 and this really is an ideal Gateway project for further decarbonisation of the region.”

Project Director Jonathan Briggs said: “We are pleased to have been selected for the funding which allows us to go through to the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) stage. The Government’s confidence in the project is a sign of the Humber’s significance as an epicentre to decarbonise UK industry. It is cost effective and presents an opportunity to decarbonise strategic industries around Immingham.” He continued, “Carbon Capture Storage was not just an option but an imperative and its importance was also recognised by the Prime Minister in his recent 10-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.  We now look forward to working with Innovate UK and transportation and storage operators who are developing sites. We have a world class partnership ready to meet the goals and ambitions of the Paris Agreement and there is an opportunity for the Humber to become a CCS global technology leader”.

The FEED stage starts with immediate effect and is expected to be completed by summer, 2023, for VPI and the end of 2023 for Phillips 66. The project aims to  start operations by 2027.

The project is a partner in the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan, which sets out the region’s decarbonisation journey and was awarded £1.7-million at the start of the year.

The Innovate UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund aims to bring together the UK’s world leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation. For more information visit

Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers (centre) with (from left) the Humber Refinery General Manager and Phillips 66 Director Darren Cunningham, Technical Manager Chris Gilbert, David Theakstone from VPI-Immingham and VPI-Generation General Manager David Brignall.