Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has called on the Government to establish a National Hydrogen Transport Centre in Teesside.
A national centre in the region would result in the testing of new hydrogen technologies, including for cars, buses, trains, bin lorries and trucks, in Teesside, where more than half of the UK’s hydrogen is already produced.
Combined with renewable electricity, hydrogen can be produced, stored and used to generate heat and electricity without producing any greenhouse gases or air pollutants, according to the Mayor.
He also said that it would help to add up to £7bn to the region’s economy from now until 2050.
The National Hydrogen Transport Centre would sit alongside plans to build the world’s biggest hydrogen refuelling station in Teesside – plans which have already been backed by Government.
It would also compliment Net Zero Teesside, which will see the creation of the world’s first full-scale Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage facility.
Mayor Houchen said: ‘If the Government wants to prove to the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool that it is serious about its levelling up agenda and giving the North the attention and investment it deserves, then bringing the National Hydrogen Transport Centre to our region would be a no-brainer.
‘Hydrogen is playing a massive part in our future plans. We already produce more than 50% of the UK’s hydrogen, so by becoming the home of the National Hydrogen Transport Centre, we could properly utilise this and fully unleash our area’s potential.’
‘Hydrogen is vital to our clean energy recovery plans,’ he continued.
‘This includes cars, trains, buses and also trucks which would make transporting goods and materials in and around ports cleaner. This investment would help us reinforce our expertise in hydrogen, not just in the UK but globally.
‘Hydrogen and Net Zero Teesside aren’t just a key part of my plan for jobs – a plan to create good quality, high skilled local jobs for local people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool – but they will create the clean jobs which are essential for our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and our future.’
Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hydrogen and Conservative MP for Redcar, Jacob Young, said: ‘New hydrogen technologies will form a major part of the UK's path towards a cleaner, greener future and I want Redcar and Cleveland to be at the centre of this exciting emerging sector.
‘It's great to be part of a united Conservative front on this, pushing for success for all of Teesside.
‘Our region already produces more than half of the UK's Hydrogen and I am determined to see Redcar and Cleveland become a UK centre for innovation in new hydrogen technology.
‘Working alongside Ben and his team, I'm certain that we will be able to put Redcar front and centre of those plans.
‘This would represent a huge investment for the whole of Teesside and will bring thousands of jobs to an area that is raring to go.’