Bidders for CCS competition announced

Business secretary John Hutton recently announced the four bidders that have pre-qualified in the government’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration competition. A consultation on the legislative framework for CCS, including carbon capture readiness, has also been published.

Proposals in the consultation document on carbon capture readiness are designed to create a more consistent understanding across the EU. The view is that the carbon consultation readiness of new combustion power stations will have to be addressed in the design process by developers and taken into account by government when deciding whether or not to consent to such stations.

The government believes that CCS has the potential to capture up to 90 per cent of damaging carbon emissions from coal fired power stations and steps are being taken to prepare for and support the deployment of CCS technologies. This is part of a wider strategy to reduce emissions from electricity generation, which includes the expansion of renewable energy.

The four bidders, BP Alternative Energy International, EON UK, Peel Power and Scottish Power Generation, were selected from nine contenders based on their responses to the pre-qualification questionnaire.

Discussions in the next phase of the competition will cover technical, commercial, contractual and financial issues. The project will be operational by 2014, making the UK one of the first countries in the world to demonstrate CCS on a commercial-scale.

Hutton said: ‘We cannot deliver wide-scale deployment of CCS, nor tackle global climate change, alone. We need greater international collaboration and will continue to urge other countries to demonstrate a similar level of commitment to demonstrating CCS as the UK.’

‘We must ensure CCS is recognised in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the Clean Development Mechanism, and have been pushing hard for it to be high on the agenda at the forthcoming G8 Leaders meeting.’

The consultation document, Towards Carbon Capture and Storage, sets out the government’s view on CCS as a ‘high potential’ carbon abatement technology and asks for comments on what more can be done to promote, develop and deploy CCS in the UK, EU and globally.

The government also continues to support a number of small-scale carbon abatement projects and was recently confirmed as the host for the high profile Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum Ministerial Conference in 2009.