DECC pulls plug on CCS project

11th November 2011


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  • Mitigation ,
  • Energy ,
  • CCS

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IEMA

Europe's third-largest coal-fired power station, Longannet in Fife, will not now pioneer carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the UK, after DECC and the consortium developing the technology failed to agree funding for the project.

The 2,400MW power station, which is owned by ScottishPower, was the only facility left in the government’s original competition to develop a commercial-scale CCS demonstration plant. The government now intends to channel the £1 billion earmarked for CCS into other projects.

“Despite everyone working extremely hard, we’ve not been able to reach a satisfactory deal for a project at Longannet at this time, so we’ve taken the decision to pursue alternative projects,” said the energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne.

Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, described the decision as a “deep disappointment”.

“CCS technology requires the courage and the vision to make the investment happen, and that is what has been lacking in successive Westminster administrations. At a time when North Sea revenues are coming in at record levels, it was surely not too much to expect that the Treasury would make the necessary funding commitment for Longannet to go forward. The cost would have been less than a tenth of this year’s estimated North Sea revenues of £13.4 billion,” he said.

The Longannet CCS consortium, which in addition to ScottishPower includes the National Grid and Shell, has invested £20 million in research and development.

The information, described as the most detailed of a commercial-scale, end-to-end CCS project ever conducted in Europe, will now be made available to other developers.

Seven potential UK CCS demonstration projects, including Longannet, were among 13 applications submitted to the European Investment Bank in May for funding under its NER300 process.

A decision on the projects to receive funding is expected next summer. With Longannet out of the running, the six remaining projects will now also be the focus for financial support by the UK government.

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