Joint ventures announce £4bn in contracts for the UK’s East Coast Cluster

Article by Amanda Jasi

NET ZERO TEESSIDE POWER and the Northern Endurance Partnership have announced engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts worth a combined £4bn (US$5bn) for one of the UK’s selected CCUS clusters, East Coast Cluster. The selected contractors include Costain, Wood, and a consortium led by Technip Energies.

Ben Houchen, mayor of Tees Valley, said: “This would be the single biggest investment in Teesside since ICI. It cannot be understated the transformational economic impact this will have right across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool. Our area is now the world-leading centre in developing the clean, green industries of the future, which most importantly will deliver the highly skilled well-paid jobs of the future.”

Awarded contracts

Forming part of the East Coast Cluster (ECC), Net Zero Teesside (NZT) Power is a joint venture involving BP and Equinor for an 860 MW low-carbon gas-fired power plant that could power around 1.3m homes. Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP) is a joint venture between BP, Equinor, and TotalEnergies that will serve as the CO2 transport and storage provider for the ECC.

Wood has been selected as the integrated project management team.

NEP and NZT Power have chosen Costain to oversee and manage EPC of the East Coast Cluster’s onshore CO2 gathering systems and associated utilities. The civil engineering company recently completed front-end engineering design for elements of the decarbonisation project.

Led by Technip Energies, a consortium including GE Vernova, construction partner Balfour Beatty, and supported by Shell, has been selected to play a central role in constructing a combined cycle plant for NZT Power. The plant will be powered by a GE Vernova gas turbine, a steam turbine, a generator, and a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). Carbon capture will rely on Technip’s Canopy by T.EN powered by Shell’s Cansolv CO2 capture system.

Up to 2m t/y of CO2 will be captured from the NZT Power plant, which will then be stored in the North Sea via NEP infrastructure.

Marubeni-Itochu Tubulars Europe with Liberty Steel Hartlepool, Corinth Pipeworks, and Eisenbau Kramer were selected for the contract package for onshore and offshore linepipe. Saipem was handed the contract for offshore pipeline, landfalls, onshore outlet facilities, and water outfall. The remaining contractors announced are TechnipFMC for the offshore subsea injection system, Genesis for offshore systems engineering, and Alcatel Submarine Networks for power and communication cables.

Final award of the contracts is subject to regulatory clearances and a final investment decision by NZT Power and NEP expected in September, or earlier. The projects are aiming for commercial operation from 2027.

Set to decarbonise industrial clusters in Teesside and the Humber, the East Coast Cluster could remove 50% of the UK’s industrial cluster CO2 emissions. It is one of four carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) clusters backed for development by the UK government.

Last March, the UK announced up to £20bn to support the early development of CCUS, including its four selected CCUS clusters. The UK aims to establish 20–30m t/y of CO2 capture capacity by 2030.

Acquired land

On the heels of the contractor selection, UK electricity generator RWE announced it has secured a land option in Teesside, advancing its plans for a large-scale hydrogen production plant. Initially, the plant would have an electrolyser of up to 260 MWe and be able to produce up to 5 t/h of green hydrogen.

The secured location sits within the heart of Teesside’s industrial area, which is part of the wider East Coast Cluster. This would place RWE’s plant near industrial energy users and planned hydrogen infrastructure that could provide green hydrogen to support decarbonisation in the region.

Houchen said about RWE’s news: “This project means another big name coming to Teesside to produce more clean homegrown energy and crucially more good-quality, well-paid jobs for local people.”

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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