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Future Fuels UK: Making Hydrogen Happen In The Tees Vally
Posted by on 2004-01-06 09:29:52
contributed by gfoat

The Tees Valley Hydrogen Project was established to provide the final link in the chain that takes new energy technologies from development to marketplace. Its focus is to capitalise on assets created over the years by some of the world’s leading chemical companies based in the Tees Valley and to ‘scale-up’ developing technologies into commercially viable operations.

The Tees Valley has a unique asset consisting of a 30 km hydrogen distribution system incorporating an underground hydrogen storage facility of nearly 1000 Te located within an urban environment. It was this unique asset, together with a strong technological base and unrivalled indigenous experience in hydrogen handling that spurred the creation of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Project in the early part of last year.

Developing industries related to the hydrogen economy and low carbon technologies by exploiting the Tees Valley’s assets and skill base is the Hydrogen Project’s main focus. This is being achieved through a series of five major projects.


Work has started on the recruitment of local fleet operators (both public and private) prepared to sign up to a progressive reduction in the carbon content of their fuels over the next ten years.

This project will be supported by the installation of a green fuel station equipped to dispense compressed natural gas, hydrogen and a mixture of both. The hydrogen will be supplied from the existing hydrogen infrastructure and storage caverns. The possibility of supplying Biodiesel produced from a recently announced plant to be sited at Seal Sands in the Tees Valley is also being actively considered.

A range of power sources from internal combustion engines to fuel cells in conventional and hybrid vehicles are involved in this important project, which has already attracted the support of several public bodies and commercial enterprises. Additional partners are still being sought.

Decisions on the exact location and size of the fuelling station are due to be made at the turn of this year.


The Fuel Cell Application Facility in Tees Valley is a national resource that endeavours to identify, expedite and facilitate the development of fuel cell applications. Its support services covers four key areas.

Its Technical Services resource will help companies and organisations to apply fuel cell technologies through the provision of development, technical and independent testing facilities.

Those seeking assistance in the deployment of fuel cells are able to access the Facility’s Project Services team.

The facility will also play a key role together with Fuel Cells UK, a DTI supported organisation, in raising awareness and understanding of issues surrounding fuel cell technology through a range of activities such as the provision of training courses and the development of standards.


To assist in developing awareness of the potential of hydrogen-powered fuel cells, the Tees Valley Hydrogen Project has initiated a number of ‘demonstrators’.

These include a hydrogen-powered lighthouse situated at the mouth of the Tees Estuary and a traffic information sign that has been installed on Middlesbrough’s landmark Transporter Bridge.


Renew Tees Valley is also involved in the examination of ways by which green hydrogen can be introduced into the existing hydrogen infrastructure.

The first to be evaluated is a major project for a clean coal gasification plant producing hydrogen and electricity where the consequent CO2 will be captured. This project is being pursued in partnership with Progressive Energy.

The Tees Valley is an ideal location for both enhanced oil recovery and storage in saline aquifers as a means of capturing and storing CO2.


This project consists of an advanced CHP ‘Total Energy’ system to power Middlehaven – a major inner city redevelopment scheme in Middlesbrough.

The power unit will contribute up to 2 MW of power from advanced fuel cells, which will be fed by the existing hydrogen and natural gas infrastructures, out of a total anticipated energy supply of 20 MW.

These are just a few examples of how Renew Tees Valley, together with its regional partners, the New and Renewable Energy Centre, the Northern Energy Initiative and the Centre for Process Innovation, is striving to make renewable forms of energy really happen here in the North East.

Many thanks to Dr Dermot Roddy, CEO, Renew Tees Valley Limited for the above information.

Further information can be obtained from RTV’s website, or email:



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