Paper makes case for a net zero hub in Firth of Forth


The Firth of Forth industrial hub should be central to Scotland’s net zero strategy, while continuing to drive economic growth and job creation, according to a report.

On 17 August, Wood Mackenzie published a paper, making the case to establish the Firth of Forth as a net zero hub. This is due to it capturing the challenges faced by the UK and Scotland when it comes to decarbonisation and the opportunities set to emerge from a low carbon economy, both domestically and internationally. Scottish industry emits around 10.7Mt of CO2 a year. The Grangemouth and Mosmorran cluster accounts for around 40% of this total and 10% of Scotland’s overall emissions. It is also a key part of the economy, sustaining thousands of jobs and producing multiple products and feedstocks that are essential to other industries and modern living.

It has a number of advantages, notably its sheltered waters and deep water loading, ensuring access to international markets all year round, as well as its strategic position in Scotland to act as a perfect distribution hub for the petroleum products of today and low-carbon fuels and products of tomorrow. Scotland’s abundance of renewable power and extensive sub-surface storage potential in the North Sea mean it can be a key player when it comes to hydrogen production and export, and import and long-term storage of CCUS.

The fact it’s a centre of expertise with the skills necessary to achieve the multiple technical and commercial challenges set to arise in delivering net zero was highlighted as a critical differentiator for the area. This means that while part of the net zero challenge, it also has the potential to be part of the solution. Developing a vision for the region as a net zero hub would highlight its strategic importance alongside the many attractive characteristics it has that make it a compelling industrial and trading hub, creating long-term high quality jobs.

It further mapped out how through raising the area’s profile under a net zero banner, focus and momentum will grow, generating ideas and initiatives. Government support will be needed, however, with a clear plan defining the ambitions, challenges and identifying projects that would help deliver on net zero, as well as citing the strategic, economic and social benefits, needed to attract funding.