Chris Huhne opens UK’s first carbon capture and storage plant

Posted on 30 Nov 2011

UK carbon capture and storage technology took a major step forward today as Energy Secretary Chris Huhne launched a flagship test programme in Yorkshire called CCPilot 100+.

The project is worth more than £20m, setting up a partnership between partners in the energy sector; Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), Doosan Power Systems and Vattenfall. Innovative new technology will capture the equivalent of up 100 tonnes of carbon emissions a day from SSE’s Ferrybridge coal-fired power station.

Jean-Michel Aubertin, CEO at Doosan Power Systems, said:  “The CCPilot100+ plant, which we have designed, built and commissioned using our advanced amine scrubbing technology, is an essential step in the optimisation and proving of post-combustion capture of CO2.”

The launch signaled the first the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) programme of its size to be integrated into a live power plant in the UK, representing a major step forward in proving carbon capture technology to be viable on a commercial scale.

The scheme is supported by Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and Northern Way, an organisation promoting business activity in North England.

Chris Huhne Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, was there for the launch of the CCPilot 100+ project, part of £125m government-led CCS research and development programme running between 2011 and 2015.

Mr Huhne said: “This flagship test programme at Ferrybridge represents an important milestone in the UK’s plans to develop CCS and provides a critical bridge to meeting our long term aim of cost competitive CCS deployment by the 2020s.”

“This is the first operating carbon capture plant attached to a power station of this scale in the UK,” Mr Huhne continued, “benefitting from more than £6m in public money. This investment will be invaluable to the wider commercial scale deployment of CCS by reducing uncertainty, driving down costs and developing the UK supply chain and skills.”

SSE chief executive, Ian Marchant, said: This pilot project is all about carbon capture on coal, however if we are to be successful in reaching our carbon reduction targets, we also need it on gas, which is why SSE is seeking to develop a larger, commercial scale, demonstration at our Peterhead gas-fired station.”

Mr Marchant was keen to stress the significance of Ferrybridge in the broader context of the UK energy industry, commenting: “We believe projects such as this will be absolutely crucial in establishing when and how the technology can be developed.”

Iain Gray, chief executive at TSB, said: “This pilot project emphasises the vital role that innovation is playing in bringing the technology closer to commercialisation.”