CCUS gets UK backing

Article by Adam Duckett, Amanda Jasi and Amanda Doyle

Funds awarded as Government announces 2050 net zero target

IT’S been a busy month for CCS in the UK, with the Government providing funding for six projects including the country’s first industrial-scale CCU project, and outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May visiting Imperial College London’s CCS pilot plant.

This momentum has gathered in the wake of the Government’s decision in June to amend the Climate Change Act so that it requires the country to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 (see p16). The day May announced the target, she took to Imperial College London and met with chemical engineers to tour its renowned CCS facility (see boxout).

First among many

Subsequently, £26m in funding has been awarded to nine CCUS projects, including £4.2m for Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE) to develop a £16.7m project at its site in Northwich that will capture CO2 for use in the production of sodium bicarbonate. This will be the UK’s first industrial-scale CCU plant and the first in the world to use CCS in the production of sodium bicarbonate. It will capture CO2 from the flue gases of TCE’s 96 MW(e) combined heat and power plant and liquefy it for use in the production of sodium bicarbonate. This in turn can be used to produce pharmaceuticals, food and animal feed, and flue gas treatments.

Martin Ashcroft, MD of TCE, said: “This project is a great example of business and government working together to rise to the challenge of decarbonising industrial production.”

The plant is scheduled to begin operations in 2021 and will be capable of capturing 40,000 t/y of CO2, reducing TCE’s emissions by 11%.

Among the others receiving funding, Pale Blue Dot Energy won nearly £4.8m towards the £8.1m Acorn storage site, which aims to capture CO2 from the St Fergus gas terminal and store it permanently in a saline aquifer under the North Sea.

OGCI Climate Investments received £3.8m towards its £18m Clean Gas Project, which aims to deploy full-chain CCUS at a gas-fired plant in Teesside.

Humber cluster

C-Capture won almost £5m in funding for an £11m project to scale up its technology that began earlier this year capturing CO2 at pilot scale from the biomass being burned at the Drax power station in Yorkshire. Drax also received £0.5m towards a fuel cell carbon capture study on producing power at the same time as capturing CO2.

Separately, Drax has signed an MoU with Equinor and National Grid Ventures to study the technical, economic and societal opportunities of developing an industrial carbon capture and hydrogen production cluster in the Humber region by 2030.

Captured lessons

Equinor has also announced that in an effort to share lessons learned it will release the datasets from its Sleipner offshore facility which has being capturing and storing CO2 in the North Sea since 1996. It captures and stores around 1m t/y of CO2 from natural gas.

“We believe this insight can be valuable for industry, research communities, and others working on making CO2 storage a central part of the ongoing energy transition”


This article is adapted from an earlier online version.

Article By

Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer


Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer


Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer


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