Proposed Direct Air Capture facility will use heat from Sizewell C

Heat generated at Sizewell C could be used at a proposed Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility at the Port of Lowestoft in Suffolk.

Seen as a tool for reducing carbon emissions, DAC technologies remove and carbon dioxide from the air, which can then be stored. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 18 DAC plants are operational in Europe, the US and Canada. 

The project being developed by Sizewell C and Associated British Ports (ABP) is designed to demonstrate a more efficient and innovative DAC process, which would be powered principally by heat.

In a statement, Sizewell C director, Julia Pyke, said: “DAC is one part of our plan to make Sizewell C a low-carbon hub, which will help kickstart other technologies and deliver even more value to our energy system.”

Sizewell C and ABP have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to finalise the commercial arrangements to lease a site at Port of Lowestoft, and the planning permission to build the facility will follow.

If the demonstrator project is successful, a permanent full-scale DAC unit could then use heat generated from Sizewell C to extract CO2 from the air. The full-scale DAC facility would be located at a separate location to the power station, with the heat transported through underground pipes. According to Sizewell C, the facility could potentially capture 1.5m tonnes of CO2 annually.

The plans follow the UK government’s decision to award £3m to Sizewell C and its partners (Birmingham University, Nottingham University, Helical, Atkins and Altrad Babcock) in 2022 as part of the Greenhouse Gas Removals competition, to develop this novel heat-assisted DAC technology.

All the engineering, design, construction and testing activities for the demonstrator unit will be carried out in the UK.

ABP’s Regional Director, Andrew Harston said: “The project aligns closely with ABP’s recently published strategy, to achieve Net Zero by 2040, as well as SZC’s focus on the production of clean, low-carbon energy. ABP plans to continue to support the development of Sizewell C and looks forward to both the DAC development and the construction at Sizewell commencing as soon as possible."