Funding worth £26m has been awarded to nine companies to progress carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology in the UK.
The awards were announced by energy minister Chris Skidmore during a visit to Tata Chemicals Europe’s (TCE) plant in Winnington, Cheshire. The plant, Britain’s sole manufacturer of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate, is being awarded £4.2m toward the construction of a facility to capture and utilise 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
TCE said its plant will capture carbon dioxide from the flue gases of its 96MWe gas-fired combined heat and power plant, which supplies steam and power to the company’s Northwich operations and other local businesses. The CCU plant will then purify and liquify the gas for use directly in the manufacture of sodium bicarbonate.
“Implementing this industry leading project, with such strong environmental and operational benefits is hugely exciting,” said TCE MD, Martin Ashcroft. “We hope that this project will demonstrate the viability of CCU and pave the way for further applications of the technology to support the decarbonisation of industrial activity.”
When fully operational in 2021 it will be the largest carbon capture plant in the UK, removing 100 times more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than the country’s current largest facility.
Skidmore said: “If we are to become a net zero emissions economy and end our contribution towards global warming, then innovative schemes like Tata Chemicals’ will be essential. Their plans demonstrate the enormous potential that CCUS has, reducing our emissions and helping companies to innovate and export products all around the world.”
Eight more projects are being awarded between £170,000 and £7m as part of two programmes – the £20m Carbon Capture and Utilisation programme (CCUD) and the £24m Call for CCUS Innovation programme.
CCSU recipients include Leeds-based C-Capture who have secured a £5m grant for a two-year programme of work to progress their bioenergy and carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project at Drax Power Station.
“The technology that we have developed is a game changer for carbon capture,” said Caspar Schoolderman, COO and Project Lead at C-Capture. “Drax Group’s expertise in re-purposing existing infrastructure and C-Capture’s novel CCUS solution could allow the cost-effective deployment of BECCS for the first time on an industrial scale anywhere in the world.”