Manchester Airport to become UK's First Airport with a Hydrogen Fuel Pipeline
Manchester Airport could become the first airport in the UK to access the hydrogen fuel pipeline. The airport said that hydrogen technology is expected to play a critical role in the decarbonization of the aviation sector as it inches closer to operating hydrogen-powered aircraft in the mid-2030s for short-haul journeys.
According to the airport, research involving Manchester Airports Group estimated the demand for hydrogen fuel could be about 6.5 million litres a day by 2050 for an airport the size of Manchester. According to the Manchester Evening News reports, the airport signed an MoU with two funding partners of HyNet, one of the UK's government-supported industrial decarbonization projects.
The MoU was signed with HyNet-Progressive Energy, which is at the forefront of developing projects to decarbonize the UK's energy sector, and Cadent, a gas supply network tasked with building and operating HyNet's hydrogen pipeline network.
The bosses said the anticipated pipeline network is expected to deliver fuel hydrogen to aviation at the earliest opportunity possible. The announcement has received backing from Aviation Minister Baroness Vere and Energy and Climate Change Minister Graham Stuart, northern leaders, and the North West Hydrogen Alliance, who view hydrogen as the 'super fuel of the future.'
"This announcement demonstrates the meaningful action we are taking to ensure we can deliver a carbon-free future for the aviation industry. The partnership between Manchester Airport and HyNet is a significant step forward for the future use of hydrogen across the North West, building a more sustainable future for the region," Chris Woodroofe, managing director at Manchester Airport.
Woodroofe added that securing direct hydrogen supplies for Manchester Airport will allow their fleet of 60 airlines to utilize the revolutionary technology as soon as possible. Hydrogen fuel for the aviation industry will significantly contribute to the decarbonization efforts of the UK's aviation sector and support industry partners in achieving Net-zero.
"Hydrogen offers great potential to decarbonise flying, but we need the right infrastructure at our airports to help harness that opportunity. We are funding the multi-million-pound Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure project, which has already published important findings, and it's great to see industry now pushing ahead in this area to make zero emission flight a reality," said Baroness Vere, the Aviation Minister.
HyNet brings together the infrastructure and technology required to produce low-carbon emission hydrogen to power aircraft of the future. The newly signed deal will bring partners to work together, assess the future demand for fuel hydrogen in the aviation sector, and explore the various possibilities of connecting the Airport to HyNet's regional network.