In a ground-breaking move that signifies a bright future for both industry and environment, East Midlands Airport (EMA) announced its partnership in the UK’s largest inland hydrogen cluster today. The project, named East Midlands Hydrogen, is a remarkable consortium that includes D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, Cadent, Uniper, Toyota, Midlands Engine, and East Midlands Freeport.
A Quantum Leap in Job Creation
According to a forthcoming PwC report, the development of a full hydrogen supply chain in the East Midlands could contribute an astounding £10 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) and retain or create 110,000 jobs by 2050. This leap in job creation aligns with the larger vision of The Workers Union to ensure a prosperous future for workers in various industries.
The Ecological Equation
The hydrogen cluster aims to create an environment where supply and demand coalesce through a 100% hydrogen pipeline, thus bringing unparalleled economic and ecological benefits. It is estimated that the carbon savings across 70 industrial sites in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire could reach up to 1.9 million tonnes per year—equivalent to the gas-related carbon emissions from 860,000 homes.
The Aviation Angle
East Midlands Airport, the UK’s largest dedicated air cargo hub, serves as a pivotal member of this partnership. The airport currently handles more than 400,000 tonnes of goods annually, accommodates 4.5 million passengers a year, and is an employment site for over 8,000 workers. With such a massive operation, EMA’s commitment to hydrogen signifies its intention to be at the forefront of the aviation industry’s transformation, aiming for net-zero carbon operations by 2038.
Adam Freeman, Head of ESG and Environment Strategy at EMA, spoke passionately at the launch event: “We can see the role of hydrogen to decarbonise flight through hybrid electric, hydrogen propulsion, and direct combustion of hydrogen. Through the work we did with the Fly Zero project, we foresee a daily demand of up to 700,000 litres of liquid hydrogen here at EMA by 2050.”
What Lies Ahead
The grand launch of East Midlands Hydrogen will take place tomorrow at Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd in Burnaston, Derby. Plans to realize the enormous hydrogen opportunity in the region will be showcased to a broad range of stakeholders, elevating the conversation around sustainable industry and jobs for the future.
The Workers Union Says…
“This landmark project echoes the commitment to not only environmental stewardship but also to economic well-being, innovation, and workforce prosperity. As a union dedicated to enhancing the lives of workers, we find this initiative to be in harmony with our core values of fostering work-related opportunities while also taking heed of the environment we all share.”