New study shows how greenhouse gases could be reduced by over a third in Cheshire by 2030

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A new study by the Energy Innovation District (EID) has revealed how a local, smart energy system could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ellesmere Port by 34%. The £200k project – part funded by the Government’s Prospering from the energy revolution programme – also demonstrates potential energy cost savings of up to 25%.

The ‘E-Port Smart Energy Master Plan’ concept was developed during a six-month study from February to July 2019. The study – which is the first phase of the E-Port Energy project – gathered energy and infrastructure data from local stakeholders. It sets out a design and ten-year investment plan for the industrial heartland around Ellesmere Port, where 5% of the UK’s energy is currently consumed. The feasibility study shows how locally generated energy could be traded between local consumers and generators.

Spearheaded by the Cheshire Energy Hub, the Energy Innovation District brings together energy users, network owners, innovators and partners – including EA Technology, Burns & McDonnell, Urenco, Cadent Gas, SP Energy Networks and Peel Environmental – working alongside Cheshire & Warrington LEP, Cheshire West and Chester Council and the University of Chester.

Ged Barlow, Chair of the Energy Innovation District said:

“We face a huge challenge in the UK to decarbonise and safeguard the industries that make our nation prosper. The Energy Innovation District is centred around the industrial heartland of Ellesmere Port, with its concentration of leading businesses in manufacturing and chemical production. With companies like Vauxhall threatening job losses in the region, it brings into sharp focus the need to reduce energy costs and offer a viable solution to decarbonisation. This study demonstrates how the North West is leading the charge, setting out a nationally replicable model for smart energy systems.”

Jonathan Chapman, Burns & McDonnell’s UK Managing Director and principal author of the report, said:

“Investment and regulatory change will be required for E-Port Energy to fulfil the huge positive impact it has the potential for, and the same goes for the UK as a whole. Our current inability to create supply security that can deal with demand spikes while also finding solutions to meet carbon emission reduction targets reflects some failings in mapping out a clear future.

“However, a whole system approach - a fully integrated proposal for master-planning and delivering energy services at a district level, encompassing the supply and demand of all interconnected energy vectors - will optimise the UK’s sustainability, reliability and affordability performance in the future.”

Other findings outlined in the E-Port Smart Energy Master Plan include:

•                     A whole system approach combining electricity and hydrogen is key to a lower carbon future – by enabling flexibility between different vectors, the concept unlocks capacity on the energy networks

•                     The introduction of a higher carbon tax would enable the competitiveness of investment in low-carbon projects and reduce the cost of energy for consumers

•                     There is a danger that the pace of growth is leaving the job market behind and it is crucial that all parties – from schools through to the industrial players themselves – take ownership of this problem to address the skills issue

The E-Port Energy project is one of many the North West Energy and Hydrogen Cluster – a partnership of companies, regional leaders and network of academic experts under the North West Business Leadership Team – that recently came together to meet the Government’s challenge of delivering the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040.

Myles Kitcher from Peel Environmental said:

“Transforming the way we generate and distribute energy could lead to millions of pounds invested in Cheshire. The opportunities are huge and the next step is to ensure we have the right skills and workforce to deliver these world leading technologies. This project is one of many in the North West Energy and Hydrogen Cluster which could see over 33,000 jobs created and £4 billion invested in the region.”

The executive summary of the report is available to read here.


For more information contact:

Rebecca Eatwell, Font Communications, 07827 353113,

Notes to Editors:


The Energy Innovation District is an existing and developing cluster of energy-related industries.  This includes largescale energy assets, energy-intensive industries and Research and Development destinations. 

The District will set the blueprint for creating a new energy system – ensuring a supply of secure, low-carbon and low-cost energy helps unlock supply chain and global investment opportunities.

The District includes:

•             Storengy UK Underground Gas Storage Site: Storengy UK has invested £350m and is committed to invest a further £150m to double the size of its facility to develop the largest onshore gas storage facility in the UK

•             Protos: £170m has been invested in enabling infrastructure and energy generation – including a 21MW biomass facility and a 57MW wind farm

•             Essar Oil (UK) Ltd: the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex plays a key part in the national economy, producing over 16% of the UK’s transport fuels – employing over 900 people

•             Encirc: the state of the art contract bottling facility is the largest of its kind in Europe and produces container glass for the food and beverage industry – employing over 300 people

•             URENCO UK Ltd: uses world-leading centrifuge technology to provide uranium enrichment services to generate low carbon nuclear energy – employing over 300 people

•             CF Fertilisers: the UK head office and manufacturing plant over 1 million tonnes nitrogen fertilizer to support grass and arable farming across the UK – employing over 400 people

•             Thornton Science Park – the University of Chester campus includes The Energy Centre, a state of the art facility designed to promote growth and acceleration in the development and exploitation of technologies for the energy market.

•             Capenhurst Technology Park: owned by URENCO (UK) Ltd, the park is a centre for technology and energy focused enterprises, including C-Tech Innovation, EA Technology, Enrichment Technology Ltd and Flowgroup plc

The Energy Innovation District seeks to work with Government on issues including:

•             The provision of an electrical micro-grid that connects electricity generating assets directly to large industrial users to provide secure, low carbon and lower cost electricity;

•             Developing heat networks to support local communities and business;

•             Promote hydrogen, along with carbon capture and storage, as a means of decarbonising the gas network;

•             Providing a network of charging and hydrogen refueling stations to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles; and

•             To stimulate the deployment of innovative energy technology and to develop a skilled workforce through work with the University of Chester, local colleges and the Cheshire Energy Hub Graduate Programme


The Cheshire Energy Hub is an energy sector support organisation, funded and strategically driven by industry.  Its members work collaboratively to advance the skills agenda and energy initiatives in the region.  Members include BGS, Burns & McDonnell, C-Tech Innovation, EA Technology, Encirc, Engie, Essar Oil UK, Peel Environmental, Protos, Storengy UK, Tata Chemical and URENCO, together with the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, Cheshire West and Chester Council and the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park.




Janet McGinty