enfinium commits to net zero by 2033 ahead of summer carbon capture project

Article by Aniqah Majid

enfinium plans to capture 1.2m t/y of CO2 by 2039

ONE of the UK’s largest waste-to-energy companies, enfinium, has committed to using carbon capture technology to achieve net zero by 2033.

Through its Net Zero Transition plan, the company aims to deploy carbon capture and storage (CCS) across its facilities before 2033. This includes four units already online and two currently in construction.

Around 27m t/y of unrecycled waste is produced in the UK, half of which is biogenic waste made from organic material which naturally capture CO2.

Instead of releasing that CO2 back into the atmosphere, enfinium plans to use carbon capture to create net carbon removals.

Backed by £1.7bn (US$2.1bn) of private investment, the company plans to remove 1.2m t/y of CO2 by 2039 and transition to a carbon removal business.

enfinium’s pilot carbon capture plant at its Ferrybridge 1 site in West Yorkshire is expected to capture 1 t/d of CO2 and will run for 12 months starting from July.

Retrofitting waste-to-energy

Like many CCS projects in the UK, enfinium plans to rely on established clusters and pipeline and non-pipeline infrastructure.

Karl Smyth, director of external affairs at enfinium, said: “Some of our facilities are very close to the industrial CCUS clusters the government has been developing over the past two to three years. We have a plant in North Wales which is very close to the HyNet cluster, but there are others which are a little bit further away.

“Our Ferrybridge site, which is the largest energy-from-waste site in the UK, is west of Drax, so west of the Humber-Teesside cluster. So, in that case, we're looking at, is it a pipeline [solution] or is it a non-pipeline solution, like rail?”

Smyth acknowledged that the energy-intensive process of carbon capture will take up 30–40% of the company’s total electricity output, but said it would open new revenue streams in carbon removals.

enfinium is working with carbon capture certification organisation CCS+ to verify its carbon removals as high-quality credits. It hopes to persuade the UK government to incorporate carbon removals derived from waste-to-energy technology into future Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation.

Working with local communities

Also announced in the transition plan, enfinium is working with local communities to develop “decarbonisation hubs”, where households in heavily industrialised areas can be supplied with energy via nearby waste facilities.

Smyth said: “With the two facilities we’re building at the moment, one in West Bromwich and one in Leeds, they're quite built-up areas. We have been talking to some industrial off-takers about developing a heat network. We already provide heat facilities in Kent, next door to the largest paper mill in the UK, which produces, I think, 50% of the packaging for Amazon.”

Short-term goals

enfinium has applied for one of its facilities in North Wales to connect to the HyNet cluster, which is currently in track 1 of its development.

The company also plans to put forward a development consent order to the government for its Ferrybridge 1 site so that it can be scaled to a “national significant” size.

Article by Aniqah Majid

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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