Fit for carbon capture

Article by Amanda Jasi

CCUS Council outlines plans to conduct supply chain capability assessment

THE UK’s CCUS Council is developing a methodology that will identify for the Government where in the supply chain the UK has competitive advantages in CCUS.

Dame Judith Hackitt discussed this at the Carbon Capture and Storage Association’s CCUS 2021 conference, which saw almost 350 delegates gather online to discuss CCUS technology and latest developments in the sector.

Supporting supply chain

“We all know that CCUS is going to be at the heart of our greener economy,” Dame Judith said in her keynote presentation. Dame Judith is Chair of Make UK, which supports UK manufacturing, and a former president of IChemE.

She highlighted the scale of the Government’s ambition, which includes deploying two CCUS clusters by the mid-2020s, and four by 2030.

Dame Judith is also Chair of the CCUS Council’s supply chain steering group, which is tasked with identifying UK capabilities and increasing capacity to deliver on the UK’s ambitions and win valuable export business. The group brings together people from industry, supply chain companies, clusters, and Government.

“Phase 1 of our work is already complete, and that was completed with the publication of CCSA’s own report, Supply Chain Excellence,” said Dame Judith.

Supply Chain Excellence for CCUS covers how the UK supply chain can be developed to successfully deliver the rollout of CCUS in line with net zero. It was developed with input from sector experts from almost 50 organisations, including the CCUS Council.

“As we move into Phase 2, the focus is going to be on identifying opportunities for, as well as potential skills and capability gaps within the CCUS supply chain, for the anticipated domestic deployment out to 2050,” said Dame Judith.

“We’re going to develop a methodology to help Government assess which elements of the supply chain could have the greatest financial, economic, and commercial benefits for the UK. And this will then enable us to identify the UK’s potential competitive advantages, both at home and also globally, and to obtain a real overall view of the current readiness of those supply chains in the UK and elsewhere to support the level of ambition for carbon capture and…move on to matching ambition with capability to deliver.”

“We also want to identify where we need to acquire capability and kickstart innovation programmes…whether they’re in technology, regulation, or in skills.”

The UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult will be a partner in the supply chain assessment work. The advanced manufacturing technologies group has a proven record of delivering similar supply chain capability assessment through Fit for Nuclear (F4N). The service, developed by one of the Catapult’s centres, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC), helps UK manufacturing companies prepare to bid for work in the nuclear supply chain.

“What we are essentially going to be doing with our supply chain work over the next few months will end up with Fit for Carbon Capture and we will be able to compare that with the Fit for Nuclear work.”

During Phase 2, the steering group will meet monthly with NAMRC to review progress and help identify the areas where there may be a need to mobilise additional resources or activities, either in Government or in industry. Completion is expected by the end of
Q1 2022.

Capture clusters

Through the Industrial Decarbonisation challenge, the UK is focussing on industrial clusters as it aims to accelerate the cost-effective decarbonisation of industry using low-carbon technologies.

Presenters discussed CCUS cluster projects, including Dave Richardson, Project Specialist at infrastructure solutions company Costain, which is leading the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) deployment project. SWIC is the second largest UK industrial cluster, emitting 10m t/y of CO2 from industry, and a further 6m t/y from power generation.

Richardson noted that he didn’t expect SWIC to be selected as a Track 1 cluster, which was awarded after the event to the North West England and North Wales project HyNet, and East Coast Clusters in Teesside and the Humber (see p6).

The cluster’s ambition is to become the first cluster with an operational CCS project, without direct access to a store, “thereby laying the ground for other non-store locations and demonstrating how decarbonisation can be achieved,” Richardson said.

“Just like all industry south of Liverpool – and in common with much of the country – South Wales doesn’t have a local geological storage capability for CO2…So, CO2 shipping is a prerequisite for decarbonisation for us, but also CO2 usage.”

“Just like all industry south of Liverpool – and in common with much of the country – South Wales doesn’t have a local geological storage capability for CO2…So, CO2 shipping is a prerequisite for decarbonisation for us, but also CO2 usage.”

The deployment project is formed of several interrelated sub-projects on carbon capture and transport; hydrogen production, transport, and use; production of industrial products with reduced carbon; and green ammonia generation.

“At the Tata Steel Port Talbot facility, we are considering how to reduce emissions and integrate infrastructure into other sub-projects including CO2 shipping etc. And creating, also there, an alcohol-to-jet facility that will consume emissions from the steelworks…to provide a sustainable aviation fuel, thus decarbonising the challenging area of aviation and providing a use for emissions in the region beyond the capture and storage.”

The 17 deployment project partners include LanzaTech, Lightsource BP, Shell, Tata Steel, and Valero.

“Each sub-project is undergoing pre-FEED and transitioning to FEED as part of the overall project for the deployment phase,” said Richardson.

The cluster is also undertaking a cluster plan project which involves 36 partners – some of which are deployment project partners. “The output…will be a plan for the South Wales Industrial Cluster industries to get to net zero by 2040,” said Richardson.

“We seek to preserve and secure circa 100,000 jobs in Wales-based industries, seeking to create another 5,000 jobs in new skills and new high value opportunities for the young people of our next generation coming along.”

CCUS potential

Also at the conference was Kwasi Kwarteng, UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

He said: “CCUS is clearly an intrinsic part of the net zero offer. While many people in the world will need CCUS, no one country has as yet captured the market. I think the UK can take a leading position in this technology.”

“Alongside world-class expertise that we have in the UK, and also some degree of support from Government, we have an unrivalled asset for CCUS which we all know, and it’s called the North Sea. This is a great resource which will allow us to store huge amounts of captured carbon deep under the seabed.”

“We could capture up to £10bn of a £200bn CCUS market by 2050. And even as early as 2030…CCUS could support around 50,000 jobs.”

“As you know, we’re committed to spending £1bn through the CCUS infrastructure fund to create two clusters by the mid-2020s, and another two will be generated by 2030…And it will bring jobs and opportunity to the northeast, the Humber, the north west, Scotland, and Wales.”

“But I have to stress that I think all the clusters that we have, in the end, will be scenes of huge CCUS activity. I know people want to be in the first wave, but I think ultimately this is something where all the clusters can participate and drive economic growth.”

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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