Teesside Collective presents financial case

Article by Staff Writer

THE Teesside Collective has published its financial proposal for an industrial CCS network in the Tees Valley, which it says shows the viability of its plan.

The Collective says that government-funded research has already proved that an industrial CCS network would be technically feasible in the Tees Valley, and it has now shown that it would be financially feasible as well. The Collective is proposing a £110m (US$138m) pilot scheme to capture and store 11m t of CO2 over a 15-year period. It estimates that the project would cost £29m/y to operate, but could repay around £31m/y to the government in carbon emissions savings.

The Teesside Collective is asking for £15m in front end engineering and design (FEED) funding from the government initially, with a government-run CCS delivery company then providing 50% of the upfront capital to build the scheme, along with capital expenditure support and operating expenses throughout the 15-year pilot scheme. After that time, no further payments would be needed, and industry would gain a long-term CCS facility. The pilot scheme could be up and running in just six years.

“The Tees Valley could be the birthplace of vital clean industrial growth, attracting inward investment and job creation,” the Teesside Collective said, adding that it would transform the local economy and could be replicated across the country. The Tees Valley already supports a workforce of 12,000 and contributes £2.5bn/y to the UK economy.

The Teesside Collective first launched in January 2015 and presented its blueprint for industrial CCS in the region the following July. Teesside represents almost 60% of the UK chemical and process industries, and is home to five of the UK’s top 25 CO2-emitting plants. Many of the processes necessarily emit CO2, so collecting and storing it represents the only option for decarbonisation. Its partners are Sembcorp, BOC, CF Fertilisers, Lotte Chemical, SABIC, NEPIC, the Tees Valley Combined Authority and the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Collective says that Teesside is the most integrated industrial cluster in the UK, and some of the plants already capture their CO2 for commercial use. The region is close to potential storage sites in the North Sea and there is already strong support from local industry to make an industrial CCS network a reality. This makes Teesside the ideal location for such a network.

The government’s own Committee on Climate Change says that CCS will be necessary from the mid 2020s if the UK is to have any chance of meeting its emissions reduction targets, as well as other carbon abatement technologies. Industrial CCS is a cost-competitive way to reduce emissions, with a projected cost of £58/t of CO2, compared to £200/t of CO2 for offshore wind energy and £128/t of CO2 for new nuclear energy, according to the Teesside Collective.

“The question this report answers is whether there is a cost-effective way of making this a reality. The answer is a resounding yes. We know the demands on the public purse are great, but these are also lean industries with low margins. Working together, sharing the costs and risks opens up vast opportunity for all involved,” said Paul Booth, chair of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership and board member of Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Lord Oxburgh, who chaired a cross-party Parliamentary Advisory Group that published a report on CCS in 2016, and who spoke to The Chemical Engineer about the urgent need for CCS, also lends his support.

“Applying CCS to industry represents some of the cheapest available carbon abatement in the UK economy. The Teesside Collective proposals offer a triple win – the greening of energy-intensive industry, meeting national carbon reduction targets and local industrial rejuvenation. I strongly recommend that government commits to helping finance the project as a cornerstone of its emerging Industrial Strategy,” he said.

To find out more about the scheme, read The Chemical Engineer’s interview with members of the Teesside Collective.

Article by Staff Writer

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