Teesside collective launches industrial CCS vision

A group of energy intensive firms based in the north east of England has unveiled plans to establish Europe’s first industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) zone in the region.

The so-called Teesside Collective, which includes BOC, Lotte Chemical UK, steel maker SSI UK and fertilizer manufacturer GrowHow, hopes to use CCS technology to capture emissions, plug them into a shared pipeline network and send them for permanent storage beneath the North Sea.

The group claims that as well as making a significant contribution to UK carbon emissions cuts, CCS in Teesside would help local firms deal with escalating carbon permit prices, and put the UK at the forefront of worldwide industrial CCS development.

BOC's Redcar refinery could be one of the facilities to benefit
BOC’s Redcar refinery could be one of the facilities to benefit

According to Amec Foster Wheeler – which has this week outlined the initial findings of engineering work  – retrofitting carbon capture technology to the four anchor projects’ different industrial processes – steel, ammonia, hydrogen and polyethylene terephthalate production – is operationally and technically feasible. The firm also notes that Teesside is well located for the transportation of the carbon to permanent storage facilities under the Central or Southern North Sea.

The collective has been awarded £1m by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change to develop a business case for the proposals that it hopes to present in summer 2015.

Commenting on the plans, Sir David King, the UK’s Special Representative for Climate Change said: ‘CCS on industrial plant is going to be a critical part of the global effort to prevent serious climate change.  Teesside is in the right place, at the right time, to get ahead of the curve, insulating itself from future carbon costs and putting the UK on the map as the go to place for clean industrial investment.’