Two CCS projects go forward to next stage

21st March 2013

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  • Conventional



The Peterhead and White Rose carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects have been selected as preferred bids by Decc as part of its £1 billion CCS commercialisation programme

The chancellor confirmed in his budget announcement that Decc had chosen to take forward two of the four demonstration projects that were shortlisted for the government’s rebooted CCS competition last November.

The Peterhead project, which is a joint venture between Shell and SSE, plans to retrofit a 340MW post-combustion capture installation at an existing gas turbine power station in Aberdeenshire.

Meanwhile, the White Rose project, which failed to secure EU funding last year, proposes an oxyfuel CCS process, which will capture emissions from a new 304MW coal-fired power station on the Drax site in North Yorkshire. The project involves Alstom, Drax and BOC in cooperation with the National Grid.

Both projects aim to capture 90% of carbon dioxide generated by the power plants and then store it beneath the North Sea.

In announcing Decc’s decision, energy minister John Hayes confirmed that the government wanted to see wider deployment of CCS by 2020. “We are working quickly to our goal of a cost competitive CCS industry – and these projects are just the start,” he said.

“It is my intention to work with industry, beyond these two projects, to ensure we have further CCS projects by the end of the decade – supported by the innovative changes we are making to the energy market to encourage investment in low-carbon electricity.

“I am also very pleased that these two projects offer us the opportunity to ensure that both gas and coal generation have a hugely reduced impact on our carbon emissions.”

The news of Decc’s support for the Peterhead project was welcomed by the Scottish government, which was highly critical of the coalition government’s decision not to back a proposed CCS project at the Longanett power station in Fife – resulting in the collapse of the original CCS funding competition in October 2011.

“We welcome the chancellor’s announcement on CCS, which will see Peterhead take a step forward towards an operational CCS scheme … it is just shame that these measures are so long overdue,” commented Scotland’s finance secretary John Swinney.

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