28 September 2023

MNZ Cluster Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Peak Cluster

The Morecambe Net Zero (MNZ) Cluster, a planned carbon dioxide storage facility off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness, has today(28th September) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore storage opportunities for carbon dioxide (CO2) captured by the Peak Cluster. Together, MNZ and Peak Cluster will accelerate the UK’s journey to net zero.

Peak Cluster is a collaboration, decarbonising the heart of the UK’s cement and lime industry. Located in Derbyshire and Staffordshire along with neighbouring industries in Cheshire, Peak Cluster is made up of four of the UK’s leading cement and lime producers - Tarmac, Breedon, Lhoist and Aggregate Industries, alongside the Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant in Cheshire, working together with Progressive Energy, a low carbon energy project developer.

Spirit Energy, the company leading a consortium to deliver the MNZ Cluster, will transform the depleted North and South Morecambe gas fields into a world-leading carbon storage facility. This facility has the potential to be one of the biggest in Europe, and thanks to its natural geological capacity, the fields have the potential to store up to one gigatonne (one billion tonnes) of CO₂ in its lifetime.

The UK’s cement production industry is essential for Britain’s construction industry, contributing around £18 billion to the UK’s GDP, directly employing 81,000 people and supporting 3.5 million jobs. However, it is impossible to make cement and lime without generating CO2. The plants within Peak Cluster are responsible for 40% of cement and lime production in the UK, employing well over 1000 people but emit more than 3 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Through the MoU, MNZ and Peak Cluster will explore together how these organisations could access the MNZ Cluster’s permanent and safe storage solution.

Connecting Peak Cluster to the MNZ Cluster via pipeline will help vital industries continue operating within the UK, retaining jobs in their local communities, and supporting them on the pathway to net zero. The MNZ Cluster also has the potential to create thousands of new and innovative green jobs in the North West, in addition to supporting existing jobs in carbon-intensive industries as they decarbonise.

Neil McCulloch, CEO of Spirit Energy, said: “We are proud to sign this Memorandum of Understanding today, so that the MNZ Cluster can provide one of the UK’s most vital industries, the construction sector, with access to cost-effective decarbonisation. Capturing and storing carbon is essential to helping these industries on the path to net zero, enabling them to remain productive and supporting the thousands of jobs reliant on these sectors.”

John Egan, Project Director for Peak Cluster at Progressive Energy, said: “Peak Cluster will dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions from industry located across Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire, starting from 2030. Not only will this safeguard British jobs and maintain a booming supply chain, it will also enable the production of low carbon cement - essential for the UK economy and the construction of vital infrastructure such as homes, hospitals and clean energy production. We are delighted to see our collaboration extend to this agreement with MNZ.”


Notes to Editors

About Spirit Energy

We are a pioneering energy company with two shareholders: Centrica plc (69%), and Stadtwerke München GmbH SWM (31%). We operate in the UK and the Netherlands, with a 700-strong team, and 25 producing field interests.

Our portfolio and ambitions span the breadth of the energy transition. We’re continuing to break new ground, collaborating and thinking differently. Our strategy is focused on: safely delivering production from our existing assets; meeting and de-risking our decommissioning obligations, and pursuing strategic energy transition opportunities from our existing assets.

We’re proud of our heritage. With more than 30 years of production, we’re maximising the potential of our existing assets and substantial gas reserves in the UK and Netherlands. Above all, we live by our commitment to safety in everything we do. Our portfolio is predominantly gas (96%), providing vital, primary energy to fuel our homes and businesses in the UK and Europe.


Progressive Energy

Progressive Energy are experts in project development and implementation with extensive experience of overcoming the technical and commercial challenges associated with bringing new technologies to market. The team is passionate about tackling climate change by creating meaningful and deliverable projects. Progressive Energy translates innovative technologies, such as hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), into concepts and ideas all the way through to their deployment to make a material difference to climate change. Progressive Energy originated and coordinates the development of the HyNet decarbonisation cluster.



Tarmac, a CRH company, is the UK’s leading sustainable building materials and construction solutions business. Tarmac combines the knowledge and expertise of two of the construction industry’s most iconic brands: Tarmac, the pioneers of the modern asphalt road 120 years ago, and Blue Circle, the company that patented Portland Cement.

Its innovative products and solutions not only safely deliver the infrastructure needed to grow the UK economy today but also help to create a more sustainable built environment for the country’s long-term future. Tarmac has an ambitious target to reduce CO₂ emissions by 30% by 2030 and reach net zero before 2050. It has contributed to some of the UK’s biggest construction and infrastructure projects. These include HS2, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Wembley Stadium, Heathrow Terminal 5, Blackpool Sea Defences, The Shard and London 2012.

Tarmac directly employs around 6,000 people across a nationwide network of over 350 sites. Its solutions span aggregates, asphalt, cement, lime, readymix concrete, offsite manufacture, road contracting, highways maintenance and infrastructure services, building products and recycling services. This unique combination of people, technology and assets enables it to offer customers unrivalled choice, innovation and flexibility.

For more information, visit: www.tarmac.com

About CRH

CRH (LSE: CRH, ISE: CRG, NYSE: CRH) is the leading provider of building materials solutions that build, connect and improve our world. Employing c.75,800 people at c.3,160 operating locations in 29 countries, CRH has market leadership positions in both North America and in Europe. As the essential partner for road and critical utility infrastructure, commercial building projects and outdoor living solutions, CRH’s unique offering of materials, products and value-added services helps to deliver a more resilient and sustainable built environment. A Fortune 500 company, CRH is a constituent member of the FTSE 100 Index, the EURO STOXX 50 Index, the ISEQ 20 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) Europe. The company is ranked among sector leaders by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) rating agencies. CRH’s American Depositary Shares are listed on the NYSE.


Breedon Group plc

Breedon Group plc, a leading vertically-integrated construction materials group in Great Britain and Ireland, delivers essential products to the construction sector. Breedon holds 1bn tonnes of mineral reserves and resources with long reserve life, supplying value-added products and services, including specialty materials, surfacing and highway maintenance operations, to a broad range of customers through its extensive local network of quarries, ready-mixed concrete and asphalt plants.

The Group’s two well-invested cement plants are actively engaged in a number of carbon reduction practices, which include utilising alternative raw materials and lower carbon fuels. Breedon’s 3,700 colleagues embody our commitment to ‘Make a Material Difference’ as the Group continues to execute its strategy to create sustainable value for all stakeholders, delivering growth through organic improvement and acquisition in the heavyside construction materials market.


Since 1889, the Lhoist Group has been a world leader in lime (including dolomitic lime), limestone and mineral solutions for an ever-growing range of applications. As a family-owned business, it combines a traditional industrial culture with a dynamic and entrepreneurial approach. With roots and a head office in Belgium, the Lhoist group has grown from generation to generation and is now present in more than 25 countries with more than 165 sites around the world, delivering to more than 80 countries from sites in Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific.

Lhoist's solutions are used in a wide variety of traditional and emerging applications due to their unique chemical and physical properties. Lime is a critical and necessary product for the development of the energy transition. Lhoist's 6,600 employees focus their activities on manufacturing high quality products to meet current and future market needs. The Lhoist Group has continuously placed Sustainable Development at the heart of its actions and within its long-term vision. Reducing its carbon footprint is part of an overall commitment to position Lhoist as a sustainable business. The group recognizes its responsibility to anticipate and be a player in the global transition towards a low carbon economy.

Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant

The Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant (LSEP) is a £480m Energy from Waste facility located at the Lostock Works site near Northwich in Cheshire. The nationally significant project is currently under construction following consent being granted in 2012 under Section 36 of the Electricity Act. LSEP Ltd is a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and FCC Environment. Connecting into the Peak Cluster pipeline allows Lostock to continue to further decarbonise the waste sector.

About Aggregate Industries

Aggregate Industries, part of Holcim, is delivering growth through sustainable thinking. Committed to playing a significant role in enabling the UK to transition to net zero, Aggregate Industries is driving decarbonisation across the construction materials sector. With a broad, established range of low carbon solutions and a focus on the circular economy, Aggregate Industries continues to invest in R&D and innovation, working in partnership with sustainability-focused stakeholders, with the goal of becoming the UK’s leading supplier of sustainable construction materials. It is the first company to be certificated to BES 6001, The Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products, developed by the BRE (Building Research Establishment).

About Holcim

Holcim builds progress for people and the planet. As a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Holcim is enabling greener cities, smarter infrastructure and improving living standards around the world. With sustainability at the core of its strategy Holcim is becoming a net zero company, with its people and communities at the heart of its success. The company is driving circular construction as a world leader in recycling to build more with less. Holcim is 70,000 people around the world who are passionate about building progress for people and the planet through four business segments: Cement, Ready-Mix Concrete, Aggregates and Solutions & Products.


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