Date Posted:

17 June 2023

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Freeport East has today published analysis setting out a future scenario for green hydrogen demand that could underpin the development of a Green Hydrogen Hub across its economic area.

Forecasting potential demand in excess of 500MW by 2030, equivalent to 10% of the UK’s current target for green hydrogen production, the report illustrates what a significant role green hydrogen could play in the future Freeport East economy and the significance to the UK.

Steve Beel, Chief Executive at Freeport East commented:

“As Freeport East looks to help drive the regional economy towards net zero in a manner that delivers benefits across our communities, it is clear that hydrogen has the potential to play an important part in delivering on decarbonisation and energy security, while offering unique investment and employment opportunities for our region.

The East of England is already a clean energy powerhouse of international significance, comprising a range of renewable generation, innovation and R&D facilities but also the deep skills and experience to match.

Establishing a green hydrogen hub across Freeport East will be good for the region and for the UK and today’s report illustrates the scale of the opportunity. Facilitating a shift towards hydrogen across food processing, agriculture, refineries, public transport, heavy duty freight and shipping will help strengthen these sectors whilst also delivering wider benefits in terms of jobs, skills and a cleaner environment for the whole Freeport East area.”


The report also sets out a range of possible near-term pilot applications that could help develop pathways towards the scaling up of commercially viable hydrogen use.

Freeport East and other local partners view green hydrogen as one potential opportunity within a wider innovation cluster which would build on the region’s existing strengths in areas such as renewables, robotics, automation, Artificial Intelligence and data science. It could impact on sectors as diverse as logistics, agriculture, ports, public transport and manufacturing as well as wider green energy opportunities given links to offshore wind, nuclear and other forms of renewable power.

Development of the report was supported by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) as the sponsor department for the Freeports programme.

Freeport East is now looking to collaborate with interested parties in developing these pilots further as well as working with partners across the wider eastern region on green hydrogen development more generally.


Notes to Editors:

Freeport East is one of eight new Freeports in England having received final government approvals on 10th January 2023. It will be a hub for global trade and national regeneration as well as creating a hotbed for innovation that will have impact across the UK.

With its unique global links and existing innovative sectoral clusters, Freeport East will attract inward international investment and drive domestic growth, propelling the country’s economy forward.

Covering Britain’s busiest container port, two major ferry ports and located close to the East Coast green energy cluster, Freeport East offers a unique combination of advantages to benefit traders, manufacturers and clean energy suppliers. It will create 13,500 new jobs and generate a Gross Value Added (GVA) of £5.5 billion over 10 years.

Government’s freeport policy comprises a mix of mechanisms designed to facilitate economic growth and levelling up. These include targeted tax benefits to bring forward key development sites, a novel customs regime to facilitate customs site development, and targeted Government support and regulatory engagement to unlock barriers to innovation and strengthen trade and inward investment opportunities.

For more information, please visit

The Hydrogen report can be found on our website, under the Hydrogen banner.

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The Founding Members of Freeport East Limited are Essex County Council, Suffolk County Council, Tendring District Council, Mid Suffolk District Council, East Suffolk District Council, The Port of Felixstowe, Gateway 14, Harwich International Port, New Anglia LEP and the University of Essex.

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