Funding boost for industrial carbon capture sector

Nine companies have secured £26mn of government funding, along with industry backing, to advance the rollout of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects in the UK. After many delays, the development of a significant UK carbon capture sector could have begun.

The government sees the development of a CCUS sector, as laid out in its Clean Growth Strategy and last November’s CCUS Action Plan, as a crucial step in its commitment to end the UK’s contribution to global warming by 2050. With a fair wind, the UK’s largest carbon capture project to date could be up and running by 2021, says the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The awards were announced by Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore on a visit to Tata Chemicals Europe’s plant in Winnington, Cheshire. The plant, the UK’s only manufacturer of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate, is being awarded £4.2mn toward the construction of a facility to capture and utilise 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year. When fully operational it would be the largest carbon capture plant in the UK, removing 100 times more CO2 from the atmosphere than the 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 grants as part of two programmes – the £20mn Carbon Capture, Usage and Demonstration programme (CCUD) and the £24mn Call for CCUS Innovation programme. 

Energy-intensive industries currently produce approximately 24% of global CO2 emissions, says BEIS. CCUS technology can capture carbon from power stations and carbon-heavy industries such as cement, chemicals, steel, and oil refining, that can then either be used for industrial purposes such as manufacturing concrete, or stored underground. 

The full list of projects to have secured funding is below. 

Carbon Capture, Usage and Demonstration (CCUD)

The CCUD programme is designed to encourage industrial sites to capture up to 70,000 tonnes of CO2 per year for use commercially in industrial applications. £20mn has been made available, of which nearly £5mn has been awarded so far. 
  • Drax – Fuel Cell Biogenic Carbon Capture Demonstration – £500,000 towards a £1mn project;
  • Origen Power – Oxy-Fuelled Flash Calciner Project – £249,000 towards a £356,000 project; and
  • Tata Chemicals Europe – Carbon Capture and Utilisation Demonstration – £4.2mn towards a £17mn project. 

Call for CCUS Innovation

The programme offers grant funding to projects to reduce the cost or accelerate the rollout of CCUS. Following a review in January, the amount of funding being made available was increased to £24mn.
  • C-Capture – Negative CO2 emissions from BECCS – £4.9mn towards an £11.1mn project; 
  • Pale Blue Dot Energy – Acorn storage site – £4.8mn towards an £8.1mn project;
  • TiGRE Technologies – Integration of CCUS technology to a 200 MW OCGT project in the North Sea – £164,000 towards a £243,000 project;
  • Translational Energy Research Centre – led by the University of Sheffield and Pilot-Scale Advanced Capture Technology (PACT) – £7mn toward a £21mn project;
  • Progressive Energy – HyNet Industrial CCS – £495,000 toward a £766,000 project; and 
  • OGCI Climate Investments – Clean Gas Project – £3.8mn toward an £18mn project.

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