Italian oil and gas company Eni has received £33m from the UK government for the development of HyNet North West integrated project to decarbonise the industrial district in the North-West of England.

The government has granted the funding through the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC) fund.

The funding is anticipated to cover about 50% of the investment required to finalise the ongoing planning studies, and the site is planned to become operational by 2025.

The site is designed to capture, transport and store carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing industries and create future production sites for blue hydrogen, which serves as an alternative fuel.

The company said that the project will become the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure in the UK.

The HyNet North West project will be led by a consortium of regionally located industrial companies, including Eni.

The company will play an important role as part of the consortium, by transporting and storing the CO2 in its depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Also, it has secured a carbon storage licence from the UK Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), for the reservoirs located nearly 18 miles (29km) off Liverpool Bay, in October 2020.

Once operational, the project is expected to turn one of the energy-intensive industrial districts in the UK into the world’s first low carbon industrial cluster.

The decarbonisation project would reduce CO2 emissions by up to 10 million tonnes per annum by 2030, and deliver 80% of the Government’s new UK-wide target.

Eni said that the project is in line with its commitment to the energy transition and decarbonisation, CO2 capture, utilisation and storage.