Manchester Airport unveiled its plans to become the first airport in the UK to have direct access to a pipeline for hydrogen fuel.
According to the airport, hydrogen technology is anticipated to play a significant part in the decarbonization of the aviation industry, with hydrogen-powered aircraft likely to enter service starting in the middle of the 2030s for short-haul flights. Additionally, it stated that a study conducted by Manchester Airports Group indicated that by 2050, a Manchester-sized airport could require 6.5 million liters of liquid hydrogen daily.
The airport said that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the two founding partners of HyNet, Progressive Energy, which develops projects to decarbonize the energy sector, and gas distribution network Cadent, which will construct and run the hydrogen pipeline network for HyNet.
Bosses wanted to bring hydrogen to the aviation industry as soon as possible, including by connecting Manchester Airport to a pipeline that HyNet is building.
Graham Stuart, the minister of energy and climate change, and Baroness Vere, the minister of aviation, along with northern leaders and the North West Hydrogen Alliance, have all supported the news. The “super fuel of the future” was described as hydrogen.
Manchester Airport’s managing director, Chris Woodroofe, stated: “This announcement serves as a concrete example of the important steps we are doing to guarantee that the aviation sector can have a carbon-free future. The collaboration between Manchester Airport and HyNet represents a significant advance for the North West’s usage of hydrogen in the future and helps to create a more sustainable future for the area.”
“Our 60 airlines will be able to utilize this innovative and exciting technology as soon as possible by acquiring a direct hydrogen supply for our airport.”
Baroness Vere, the minister of aviation, said: “Flying may be significantly reduced carbon emissions by using hydrogen, but to take advantage of this opportunity, our airports must have the proper infrastructure. It’s excellent to see the industry moving forward in this area to make the zero-emission flight a reality. We are sponsoring the multi-million-pound Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure project, which has already released significant findings.”
According to the airport, HyNet puts together the infrastructure and technologies required to manufacture low-carbon hydrogen to power future planes. Following the signing of the agreement, partners will now collaborate to evaluate the potential demand for hydrogen in aviation and investigate the viability of tying Manchester Airport to the regional HyNet network.
Any of the more than 60 airlines that use the airport would receive the sustainable fuel through a future pipeline hookup. Graham Stuart, the minister of energy and climate change, said: “As we work to eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels, hydrogen is positioned to become the new super fuel of the future and will be crucial in supplying electricity to UK industry, including the aviation sector.
“This new alliance is an exciting development that will support efforts to create the UK a hydrogen economy that leads the globe.”
A gathering to commemorate the Memorandum of Understanding’s signing was conducted on Monday, and 30 influential people from the sector were there.
Chris Manson-Whitton, the company’s CEO, stated: “By supplying low carbon hydrogen produced locally at the first facilities in the UK, such as Vertex Hydrogen and a variety of electrolytic plants, HyNet will revolutionize the area by the middle of the 2020s.”
“HyNet hydrogen is in extremely high demand from industries ranging from glass and paper to food and drink to consumer goods in the North West and North Wales.”
“By creating a hydrogen economy, HyNet is expected to have a £17 billion economic impact on North West England and North Wales, giving the region’s businesses a much-needed boost. HyNet will enable the decarbonization of the transportation and industry sectors.”
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Manchester Airport to significantly reduce aviation’s carbon footprint as we all work toward net zero and fight climate change.”
Manchester Airport, which is a part of MAG, has a goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions for its own operations by 2038, which is two years earlier than the government-imposed objective for UK airports and 12 years earlier than the country’s overall target.
The Northern Powerhouse Partnership’s CEO, Henri Murison, said: “Another great illustration of how the North of England is leading the UK’s green energy revolution and advancing the country toward net zero is the partnership between Manchester Airport and HyNet.”
“Hydrogen will be a key component of the UK’s fuel future, therefore it is encouraging to see progress in finding ways to guarantee Manchester Airport has a direct supply of low-carbon hydrogen fuel that will benefit the surrounding area.”