The government of the UK through the Department of Transport funded a £3 million Hydrogen Transport Hub research and development (R&D) facility. The R&D campus will be used for innovation and knowledge sharing. The facility will be open to various sectors such as the government, academic research and to conduct tests as well as trial different transport modes for the use of hydrogen as fuel.
During the trials, it is proposed that hydrogen will fuel transport that would be used by delivery companies, shops, supermarkets, online retailers, and warehouse operators adding to cleaner transport. The hub is the first of its kind in the country and is expected to create over 5000 jobs. It is expected the hub will become fully operational by 2025
At the time, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that tapping into hydrogen technology would result in long-term prosperity for the country as a global leading pioneer in hydrogen technology. He also believed it is the right step in getting all modes of transport hydrogen-fueled allowing the country to achieve its carbon emissions targets.
The local passenger transport could also benefit from this project through R&D initiatives work with local operators. This would enable the sector to reduce its emissions via on-demand regional buses or zero-emmision refuse vehicles.
The Hub’s vision and infrastructure blueprint required to deliver it is set by The Department of Transport through a master plan. Enabling the Hub to act as a continuous source of knowledge in understanding the role of hydrogen as an agent in energy transition for the transport sector.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:
“From offshore wind manufacturing, carbon capture utilization and storage and hydrogen, make no mistake Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are at the forefront of powering forward the UK’s clean energy ambitions.
“Our region already produces more than 50% of the UK’s hydrogen so it was a no-brainer for the Government to set up the UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Hub in Teesside so we can lead the way in developing the technology and fully unleash our area’s potential as we build back greener.
“Teesside has led the world in steel manufacturing and engineering for generations. Now we are leading the world in the industries of the future and creating clean good quality, well paid jobs in the process.”