Energy-intensive Industries: Decarbonisation

Wales – in the House of Commons at on 24 May 2023.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

What steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to help support the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industries in Wales.

Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Shadow Minister (Business and Industrial Strategy)

What steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to help support the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industries in Wales.

Photo of James Davies James Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

This Government are committed to supporting the decarbonisation of Welsh industry. We have committed £20 billion over the next two decades to the deployment of innovative carbon capture technology. This builds on existing support for the HyNet cluster in north Wales and north-west England and the £21.5 million to develop the South Wales industrial cluster.

Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

The best way to bring down bills in the long term for businesses in Wales and across the UK is to help transition industries away from fossil fuels. That is why Labour is calling for a national wealth fund, so that we can help industries such as steel to win the race for the future. Will the Minister tell the House specifically what steps he is taking to help heavy industry decarbonise?

Photo of James Davies James Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that question. He will of course be aware of the array of measures that are in place to help decarbonisation—the carbon capture, utilisation and storage infrastructure fund, the industrial fuel switching fund, the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre, the competitive industrial energy transformation fund and the industrial strategy challenge fund among others.

Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Shadow Minister (Business and Industrial Strategy)

The UK is the only country in the G7 whose steel industry is currently in decline. Why will the Government not end their sticking-plaster approach, match Labour’s commitment to a £3 billion green steel fund, and invest in a long-term plan to decarbonise the vital steel sector in Wales?

Photo of James Davies James Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

Let me I repeat what I said earlier. The Secretary of State visited the plant in Port Talbot recently, and is committed to it. We need to see an electric arc furnace, because that is the way to protect jobs and ensure that we have steel production in the UK.

Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee, Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee

The industrial corridor that runs west along south Wales all the way to my constituency is one of the most important in the UK. It is also one of the most challenging when it comes to decarbonisation. Does my hon. Friend agree that the Government’s policies, the “Powering Up Britain” set of energy interventions and the Celtic freeport that we have secured point the way to a successful decarbonisation strategy for this critically important part of Wales?

Photo of James Davies James Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

My right hon. Friend is, of course, entirely right. South Wales does not have former oil and gas fields in which we can store carbon, but it does have the Celtic freeport, and non-pipeline transport of captured carbon to fields elsewhere will secure decarbonisation for south Wales.