E.ON scraps CCS scheme

Due to what it says are unfavourable economic conditions, energy giant E.ON will not proceed to the next stage of the UK government’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) competition.

The news came as the government published the outcome of its spending review, confirming that it would provide £1bn in capital expenditure for the first commercial-scale CCS demonstration project.

E.ON’s Kingsnorth project was one of just two schemes shortlisted as part of the government’s CCS demonstration competition. But, with the market still not conducive to building a 1,600MW supercritical power station on which to build a carbon-capture demonstration scheme, the company said that it had become clear that Kingsnorth could not meet the project timetable.

Dr Paul Golby, chief executive of E.ON UK, said that the company still believed that carbon capture and storage was a vital technology in the fight against climate change, and would now concentrate its efforts on its Maasvlakte project in the Netherlands. He added that the lessons it learns from that project could be brought back to the UK for future-generation CCS projects.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Power consortium remains committed to the carbon-capture and storage project at Longannet, and is on schedule with its front-end engineering and design work.

’We would obviously also wish Scottish Power well as it looks to develop its own project,’ said Dr Golby.

For its part, E.ON is currently undertaking a front-end engineering and design study at the Kingsnorth project and still aims to complete this to gather valuable information on CCS that could be shared more widely.

The existing Kingsnorth power station is due to close by the end of 2015 at the latest under the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive.