ERM, the world’s largest ​pure play​ sustainability consultancy, has been appointed to a project partnership with Jacobs by National Gas, Great Britain’s national gas transmission operator, to develop pre-Front End Engineering Design (pre-FEED) studies as part of their Project Union program.

Project Union is a pioneering project led by National Gas to create a British “hydrogen backbone,” network of over 2000km of pipelines and installations, capable of transporting 100% hydrogen and connecting hydrogen production and storage with energy consumers across Britain. The program responds to the growing need to ensure fair access and lower energy costs for all UK consumers.

Commencing an engineering project of this scale and complexity requires comprehensive planning and the mobilization of multiple resources and expertise. ERM brings a blend of sustainable energy specialists and capital project delivery know-how and will be offering technical guidance in a broad range of tasks including understanding routing options, assessing constraints, delivering the cost ranges for new pipelines, and repurposing the existing gas network.

As part of the commission, the ERM team will be conducting a third-party review of routing options that take into consideration ways to reduce environmental impact in areas such as wildlife, ecology, flooding, noise, archaeology. At the forefront of the assessment will be advancing sustainable building techniques including waste minimization, re-use of materials and the promotion of biodiversity net gain.

"This project is a critical enabler for achieving the UK’s net-zero objectives and building a more sustainable economy,” says ERM Partner Russell Cullen. “We’re very happy that ERM is part of the Project Union team delivering environmental and sustainability services through these pre-FEED studies.”

“This appointment represents a significant milestone on our journey towards ensuring widespread access to low carbon hydrogen across Britain," says National Gas Project Director of Project Union Danielle Stewart. "Together, we can enable a cost-effective transition to hydrogen networks while still maintaining the resilience of Britain’s energy system and decarbonising industry by using shared network infrastructure."

“Producing, storing and transporting low carbon fuels, such as hydrogen, are critical components to Britain’s energy transition,” says Jacobs Vice President James Nash. “Our work with ERM to implement this hydrogen backbone sustainably not only supports national energy goals but also helps create a low carbon future for everyone.”

By combining sustainable energy and engineering know-how with efficient capital project delivery, Project Union can address critical energy challenges, whilst providing widespread and cost-effective access to low carbon hydrogen in Britain.

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 more than 150 offices in 40 countries and territories combine strategic transformation and technical delivery to help clients operationalize sustainability at pace and scale. ERM calls this capability its “boots to boardroom” approach - a comprehensive service model that helps organizations to accelerate the integration of sustainability into their strategy and operations.

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