A fossil gas distributor in Wales in the UK is investigating the possibility of building a “major” new hydrogen pipeline to carry renewable H2 produced offshore and in the country’s west, to its industrial heartlands in the south and east.

The proposed pipeline taps into growing momentum around green hydrogen production in the area — but will also be available transport of blue hydrogen made with fossil gas and carbon capture and storage (CCS), Hydrogen Insight understands.

Wales and West Utilities (WWU) hopes that the newbuild pipeline, named HyLine, would integrate into its existing fossil gas network and facilitate a shift to hydrogen from gas by its industrial customers — and ultimately lead to its domestic customers also adopting H2.

“It could also facilitate the conversion of home heating to hydrogen; enabling south Wales towns to go green while keeping disruption to homes and communities to a minimum,” WWU said, adding that it already has around 20 green gas sites injecting renewable molecules into its network.

Green hydrogen is expected to play a major role in decarbonising heavy industry, especially where it can replace the use of polluting grey hydrogen made from unabated fossil gas, believed to be upwards of 90 million tonnes globally.

And South Wales is the second largest industrial emitter in the UK, releasing around 16 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.

But hydrogen has been shown by 32 independent studies to be the least effective method of domestic heating, landing consumers with massive on-going fuel costs.

The UK government is pressing ahead regardless with plans for a hydrogen village in England to the dismay of some locals volunteered for it, who accuse fossil gas companies of promoting hydrogen heating to protect their own interests rather than those of consumers.


Depending on the outcome of the feasibility study, WWU hopes to make the pipeline a reality by 2030, which it told Hydrogen Insight would “maximise the benefits for decarbonisation and Welsh industry”.

The HyLine pipeline is being developed as part of the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) (pictured), which incorporates a number of industrial sites along the southern coast, including power stations, steel production and chemicals with the aim of making the area net zero by 2040.

The cluster includes several industrial decarbonisation projects, including renewable power development, green gas and hydrogen production and CCS, and envisages starting the rollout of finished projects in 2025.

SWIC was not picked for the UK government as part of its first tranche of industrial cluster funding, but it was awarded £20m ($23m) in March 2021 to “drive the project forward”.

Among the feasibility study’s backers are RWE, which runs a gas-fired power station in Pembrokeshire, TataSteel, the owner of a steel plant in Port Talbot, chemicals company LanzaTech, and Shell, which is investigating CCS capability in the region as part of SWIC.


The HyLine project is also feeding into green hydrogen project activity in Wales, which has seen two renewable H2 projects announced in Pembrokeshire in the past three months.

The first, announced in August, envisages offshore hydrogen production as part of the 2.3GW Dylan offshore wind proposal in the Celtic Sea, west of Wales and south of Ireland.

The project design, which was recently awarded £8.3m in demonstration funding from the UK government, integrates an offshore electrolyser and desalination unit into the wind farm, with hydrogen produced from desalinated seawater and the electricity produced by the wind installation. The hydrogen would be ultimately transported to shore via a dedicated pipeline.

The scheme is being developed by ERM Dolphyn, which is also backing the HyLine feasibility study, and UK-based Source Energie.

“This proposed hydrogen pipeline will unlock opportunities for floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea and help ensure that renewable development is maximised for the benefit of industry in south Wales,” said Chris Williams, head of industrial decarbonisation at Industry Wales, part of the Welsh government. “This project will significantly de-risk hydrogen production and demand projects which need connecting infrastructure.”

The second recently announced green hydrogen scheme is a 15MW onshore plant being developed by Statkraft in a disused Royal Navy armaments depot. The Trecwn Green Energy Hub will be powered by three onshore wind turbines and a solar array with an installed capacity of 30MW, producing around four tonnes of green hydrogen per day to power trains running on the Swansea railway.

“The purpose of the pipeline will be to transport low-carbon hydrogen produced from a diverse range of sources in and around Pembrokeshire, including from the Celtic Sea,” a spokesman for WWU told Hydrogen Insight. “The range of opportunities and potential timelines will be explored in the study.”

WWU added that the hydrogen transported in the pipeline would be expected to meet the UK government’s Low Carbon Hydrogen Standard of 20g CO2/MJ.