ERM, the world’s largest ​specialist sustainability consultancy, has supported Equinor in successfully obtaining planning approval to construct and operate its H2H Saltend blue hydrogen facility in the Humber in the UK. To help secure consent, ERM provided an integrated task force specializing in planning, permitting, and safety skills.

Equinor’s H2H Saltend facility is a 600-megawatt low carbon hydrogen production plant with carbon capture, one of the first of its scale to be granted planning permission in the UK. Due to be operational at the end of the decade and situated at the energy intensive Saltend Chemicals Park, H2H Saltend will help to reduce the park’s emissions by up to one third.

This decarbonization initiative is designed to help make the Humber, the UK’s most carbon intensive region, net-zero by 2040. It will contribute to the area’s clean energy transition and help to drive local economic growth by supporting new skills development and job opportunities.

As part of the process, ERM led a three-phase public consultation campaign to engage with Humber residents and businesses, as well as liaise with regulators. To address planning requirements, ERM’s team ran comprehensive technical studies to assess the project’s environmental impact risks within areas such as ecology, flood risk, contaminated land, air quality, noise, safety, and protecting landscape aesthetics. ERM’s team collaborated closely with Equinor, international design engineers, and the Saltend site operators, to select a site and develop a design that appropriately manages environmental and social impact.

"This project can address critical energy challenges, whilst providing major economic upsides for the people of the Humber,” said ERM Partner Russell Cullen. “Our approach is to work as an integrated team, blending technical and specialist sustainability skills to ensure that Equinor delivers the best possible blue hydrogen solutions. We are excited about what this means for the region’s decarbonization journey”.

Derek Ho, H2H Saltend Project Director, said: “We are delighted to receive planning permission for this key project which could help to kick-start multiple decarbonization initiatives in the Humber, a vital region with a long-standing history for Equinor. It is an important first step in creating a low carbon hydrogen economy and achieving net zero in the Humber, safeguarding local industries, and creating greater opportunities including new jobs and skills, whilst helping the UK to tackle climate change.

About ERM

Sustainability is our business.

As the largest global pure play sustainability consultancy, ERM partners with the world’s leading organizations, creating innovative solutions to sustainability challenges and unlocking commercial opportunities that meet the needs of today while preserving opportunity for future generations.

ERM’s diverse team of 8,000+ world-class experts in over 150 offices in 40 countries and territories help clients drive sustainability at pace and scale through combining strategic transformation and technical delivery capabilities. ERM calls this its “boots to boardroom” approach - a comprehensive service model that helps organizations to accelerate the integration of sustainability into their strategy and operations. Learn more