Arup secures East Coast Hydrogen study contract

Arup is to support Northern Gas Networks (NGN) to undertake a pre-FEED study for the East Coast Hydrogen (ECH) project, focusing on areas within their network including Teesside and the Humber.

ECH, a joint initiative between the gas network operators Cadent, NGN and National Grid Gas Transmission, aims to connect 10GW of hydrogen production to the gas network in the North East of England, supporting government plans to meet their 2050 net-zero targets.

Once completed, East Coast Hydrogen aims to deliver thousands of highly skilled jobs, and significant inward investment, positioning the UK as a global leader in hydrogen.

The 15-year programme of works will be carried out in discrete phases to decarbonise the NGN network, with the Pre-FEED study forming part of Phase 1, which is due to conclude mid-2023. 

The rest of Phase 1 runs until 2026 and includes the FEED study and development of East Coast Cluster Infrastructure.

Steve Saunders, UKIMEA energy skills leader at Arup, described the key role hydrogen has to play in decarbonisation.

“Arup’s recent contribution to the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan and Teesside Hydrogen Vision demonstrate the environmental, economic and social potential in the North East of England,” he said. 

“This study will consider many of the projects already identified through these regional strategies that are key for both importation, production and storage of hydrogen. 

“Achieving net-zero will only be achieved if we can continue to tackle the challenge together and  we look forward to working closely with NGN and their partners to understand the possible scenarios for the ECH project.”

Arup has years of combined experience working on cross-country pipeline routings, alongside designing AGIs, Compressor Station modifications and pressures reduction stations. 

The work with NGN will include data mining and information gathering and the assessment of that information to develop reports, leading to the creation of demand, production, and storage studies.

Arup will then develop a modelling brief to confirm how many options should be modelled and to what level of detail for the next phase of the study. These options will be modelled in collaboration with NGN. 

The optioneering phase will be a collaborative exercise with NGN consisting of Multi Criteria Assessments (MCA) to assess the various options created in relation to the findings of the network modelling, routing assessments and how it meets the demand and production scenarios.

When the preferred options have been identified, the next phase of the study will be to develop the design with enough information to complete a FEED study. 

Preparation for FEED will include input into routing corridors, a list of new assets required, and an understanding of what assets can be repurposed. 

An assessment of the general and specific project challenges with this option will be documented separately. 

Chris Verity, NGN’s senior project manager for Hydrogen, said: “NGN look forward to working with Arup and the extensive experience in hydrogen that the Arup team will bring to the project. 

“ECH will be key to enabling the hydrogen economy to grow from the initial Teesside and Humber clusters and bring a viable option for achieving net zero to the whole of the NGN network area.”

If you would like to contact Sarah Walker about this, or any other story, please email