Twenty carbon capture and storage (CCS) and low-carbon hydrogen generation projects planned in industrial heartlands across England and North Wales have been shortlisted for public funding through the scheme industrial decarbonisation, the Ministry of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). announced today.
Hydrogen plants planned by BP, Equinor and Kellas Midstream in Teesside and the Humber are among the projects to make the list, alongside plans to build three new gas-fired power stations fitted with capture technology and carbon storage (CCS) in the Region.
Meanwhile, eight industrial plants seeking to install CCS systems in their operations in the North East of England have also been shortlisted, including oil refineries owned by Phillips 66 and Prax and a production plant of ammonia operated by CF Fertilisers.
In the North West, the Vertex hydrogen production project has been selected, alongside plans to install CCS technology in five industrial plants in the surrounding region, including an oil refinery, two upgrading facilities energy from waste, a cement plant and a lime plant.
The government said the shortlisted projects, which had been whittled down from a long list of 41, would now move on to the due diligence stage of the cluster sequencing process, which would see the projects undergo final assessments to find out whether they are eligible for financial support and can join one of the UK’s two priority decarbonisation clusters.
BEIS announced late last year that it had decided to focus its initial support for industrial decarbonisation on the East Coast cluster, which spans industrial sites in Teesside and the Humber, and the cluster HyNet which covers sites in the North West of England and North Wales.
Project support is expected to take the form of revenue contracts or other mechanisms to help cover operating costs with CCS, as well as potential access to capital support from the $1 billion CCS Infrastructure Fund. sterling or the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund.
BEIS said the 20 projects selected as candidates for future support represented “a range of innovative carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies”, adding that carbon capture technologies offer “enormous economic potential for the regions, helping to attract new private investment and supporting new employment opportunities”.
He said the launch of the next stage of the CCUS cluster process represented “an important step towards a net zero economy”, arguing that the UK was an attractive business environment for the nascent CCUS sector due to its access to a “unparalleled” carbon storage capacity. in the depleted gas reservoirs of the North Sea.
David Parkin, project manager of the HyNet programme, said he was “delighted” that six projects within the cluster had been given the “green light” to establish CCS infrastructure in the North West.
“It will give the North West the opportunity to produce the UK’s first zero-carbon cement and reduce emissions from the UK’s largest waste-to-energy facility,” he said. “Hydrogen produced from Vertex will enable vital industries such as chemicals, food and beverage, paper and metals production to fully decarbonize, retain and create new high-energy manufacturing jobs. added value.”
He said the HyNet project would be able to capture and store 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2030 – around a quarter of all emissions in the North West of the UK – and create 6,000 jobs in the region.
“Today’s announcement is a crucial step in securing delivery of HyNet, making real progress on decarbonization and bringing economic benefits to the region,” he said. “The transition to a low-carbon economy presents the UK with a fantastic opportunity to protect and create highly skilled jobs, create a sustainable supply chain and provide UK businesses with the ability to deliver environmentally friendly products. of the environment that consumers are increasingly demanding.”
Ruth Herbert, chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, said she hopes the next stage of the process will move quickly so “cutting edge projects” can move forward.
“This announcement also sends a very strong signal that CCUS and net zero remain a priority for the UK government, especially as it comes at a change in leadership,” she said. “CCUS is key to achieving net zero and positioning the UK as the world’s leading large-scale hydrogen economy. It will transform our industrial regions – creating jobs and growth through inward investment and export opportunities The 41 eligible projects applied to Phase 2 demonstrate the scale of interest in CCUS in the UK.
“We look forward to more clarity on the timing of future phases and the selection of new clusters in the fall, as well as progress on the Energy Bill – all crucial if we are to achieve the government ambition of four operational clusters by 2030, stay on track to achieve net zero by 2050 and secure our place as a global leader in CCUS technology.”