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The high value of hydrogen to regional growth strategies

The Government’s recently published green industrial revolution ten point plan highlighted the importance of hydrogen in our energy transition. In line with this plan, Costain is providing front end engineering on two projects to advance the use of hydrogen in Wales and reinvigorate these important industrial centres. The feasibility studies have received funding from the sustainable innovation fund of Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

The Hydrogen decentralised energy utilisation and storage (HYDERUS) project is being carried out by Costain, Cardiff University, Aurelia Turbines and Neath-Port Talbot Council, and has received additional funding from FLEXISApp, a research, development and innovation programme focussing on industrial decarbonisation and economic growth in Wales. 

The project will investigate possible hydrogen production methods near Cardiff University’s Gas Turbine Research Centre in Margam. The hydrogen will be used to power gas turbine, currently being developed for hydrogen operationin a combined heat and power (CHP) plant (to be installed in a later phase of the project). Thteam will also assess the possibility of using electricity produced by the CHP plant in surrounding public buildings. 

The development of this novel hydrogen CHP package will provide a roadmap for decentralised, decarbonised hydrogen production, storage, and utilisation for industrial heat and power throughout the Costain-led South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWICas well as other UK industrial clusters and the communities which surround them.   


At Costain we are passionate about collaborating with industry and academia to find innovative ways to unlock the benefits of hydrogen in decarbonising the UK’s energy infrastructure. The HYDERUS project seeks to demonstrate the viability of hydrogen as a fuel for CHP plants, an important step towards achieving the UK’s net zero carbon commitments.

Rob Phillips, Costain energy sector director

Costain is also working on the Hy-value project, in collaboration with Welsh Water, Cardiff City Council and local authorities. Hy-value will convert sewage-derived biogas into hydrogen which can be used to provide clean energy to South Wales, helping to improve air quality in the region. 

The study will investigate the possibility of using the hydrogen, which produces only water when burnt as a fuel, to power Welsh Water’s fleet of vehicles as well as those belonging to local councils.

Innovation is at the heart of Costain and the solutions we deliver for our clients. Helping water companies meet their net zero carbon commitments through innovation projects like this is just one way we can deliver low carbon solutions to every client by 2023 and to be net zero ourselves by 2035.

Gerard Shore, water sector director

These projects build on the deep decarbonisation work Costain is undertaking on CCUS and hydrogen projects such as our involvement in the SWICAcorn CCS, the North West Hydrogen Alliance and the pioneering of deblending of hydrogen. 

Visit our climate change solutions hub to find out more about Costain’s Climate change action plan and how we are supporting our clients in accelerating the transition to a net zero carbon future.