Role of the downstream sector in modern Britain

In 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming - to become net zero - by 2050. Government has identified the need for clean growth which requires not just reduction of net emissions but also growth across the economy.

The UK offers advantages in terms of a transition to net zero which could make it a world leader, with good geology for Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), proximity to the European market along with strong import / export infrastructure, and transferable expertise from upstream and downstream oil sectors to support key technologies such as hydrogen, carbon capture and low carbon fuels.

Use of existing downstream assets - including six major refineries, 60 terminals, 3000 miles of pipeline and over 8000 forecourts across the country - to deliver low carbon fuels, can reduce the pressure of delivering new infrastructure while also making emissions savings sooner with today’s vehicles and machinery.

This same infrastructure also can efficiently produce and deliver resilient supplies of the fuels the country needs. By virtue of its existing scale, location and expertise, the sector can enable at scale emission reductions of industrial clusters with downstream companies at the centre as both anchor customers and potential project leaders.

Fuels Industry UK aims to shape an energy-secure, low-carbon fuels future for the UK that benefits everyone. We support our members in leading the delivery of a flexible and resilient fuels supply chain for the UK, both today and in the low-carbon future of tomorrow.

Click on the links below links to read about the challenge ahead, how we can work together so Government can deliver and the essential strengths of the downstream sector.

Fuels Industry UK members are at the forefront of delivery of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) volumes now and are investing in future manufacturing capability in the UK.

Sustainable Aviation Fuels

As prime users of hydrogen in the UK, the downstream sector can be the anchor first customer for low carbon hydrogen projects to help fund their start-up and make them viable for other companies to use.


Fuels Industry UK member companies have global expertise in delivery of Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) projects. We can bring knowledge of standards for the design, construction and operation of CCUS facilities.

Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage

Ensuring a strong domestic sector is best delivered by offering strong incentives to continue to invest in the UK is the best way to deliver fuel security.

Fuel Security

A strong domestic refining base can supply components to alternative fuel vehicle supply chains, supporting domestic vehicle manufacture.​

Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Existing fuel manufacturing and delivery infrastructure can be transformed to low carbon fuels. For example, TotalEnergies and ENI have converted former crude oil refineries into biorefineries which utilise existing storage / delivery infrastructure.

Low Carbon Fuels

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