Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, ExxonMobil and University of Southampton form first global partnership to reduce Southern England’s emissions

Southampton, UK - 15:00 GMT – Founding partners Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, ExxonMobil and the University of Southampton announced today The Solent Cluster, the first major decarbonisation initiative that would substantially reduce CO2 emissions from industry, transport and households across the Solent and Southern England.


The Solent Cluster is a cross-sector collaboration of international organisations, including manufacturers and engineering companies, regional businesses and industries, leading logistics and infrastructure operators and academic institutions, with decades of proven expertise in carbon capture and storage and hydrogen technology.

The Solent Cluster could secure existing jobs and produce low-carbon fuels for sectors including maritime and aviation, as well as providing energy to heat homes, businesses, and public buildings. This effort could position the Solent at the center of low carbon fuel production in the UK and make a major contribution to the country’s Net Zero ambitions by 2050. The project could capture approximately three million metric tons of CO2 every year.

Anne-Marie Mountifield, chief executive of Solent Local Enterprise Partnership said, “Decarbonisation is at the heart of our economic strategy for the area and the creation of The Solent Cluster will sit alongside our ambition to pioneer approaches to climate change adaptation and decarbonization, linked to our coastal setting, and establishing real expertise which other regions - nationally and globally - can learn from. The Solent Cluster will provide a platform for the excellent work that is already taking place and the partnership has a unique opportunity to affect real change in energy production and consumption, establishing the Solent and wider region as a leading center for low carbon investment now and in the future.”

“This is an important opportunity to decarbonise the Solent Region, and we are proud to be a part of this collaborative effort to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from multiple sectors,’’ said Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions. ‘We look forward to working with our founding members and others to develop a compelling project.”

The Solent Cluster could enable organizations to bid for government investment support for projects to decarbonize the Solent region and realize the benefits that can flow to the region’s businesses and communities.

Dr. Lindsay-Marie Armstrong, associate professor of mechanical engineering and academic cluster lead for the Solent Industrial Decarbonization Cluster at University of Southampton, said, “The Solent is recognised as one of the leading contributors of CO2 emissions with approximately 3.2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions released from energy-intensive manufacturing processes every year. To form a decarbonisation cluster that spans the public, private and higher education sectors is a monumental step forward for the region.

“It will introduce sustainable fuels for local transportation, the aviation and the shipping sectors; create low carbon energy to heat homes, businesses and public buildings; and open up new highly skilled jobs opportunities. This can only be achieved by working together as a community, covering all sectors and ultimately working with the same desire to achieve a low carbon economic future for the Solent region.”


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About The Solent Cluster

The Solent Cluster is a low carbon energy project joining the UK’s journey to a Net Zero future, being developed by nurturing world-leading partnerships. This project will produce, store, and distribute hydrogen to decarbonize the south coast region.

The Solent Cluster includes: Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (Solent LEP), ExxonMobil, University of Southampton, DP World, Southampton Football Club, Formaplex, Solent University, Advanced Biofuel Solutions Ltd, Associated British Ports (Southampton), Fawley Waterside, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Life, Meachers Global Logistics, Portsmouth International Port, Portsmouth Water, Southampton Airport, Solent Gateway, Isle of Wight Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, Fareham Borough Council, Gosport Borough Council, Isle of Wight Council, Southampton City Council, Airbus Defence and Space.

For more information on The Solent Cluster or to become a member visit:

Cautionary Statement: Statements of future events, investments, or partnerships in this release are forward-looking statements. Actual future results, including project plans, partner participation, timing, capacities, and costs could vary depending on the ability to execute operational objectives on a timely and successful basis; implementation of government frameworks and permitting for carbon capture and storage and other lower-emission technologies; timely completion of construction projects; commercial and consumer interest in lower-emissions opportunities; changes in plans or objectives prior to final funding decisions or project startups; unforeseen technical or operational difficulties; and other market factors. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this press release and the companies named herein disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statement.