UPDATED: Clegg urges companies to capitalise on CCS

Posted on 4 Feb 2011 by The Manufacturer

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was on hand in his home constituency of Sheffield today (Friday) to tell manufacturers how to capitalise on the £6.5bn carbon capture and storage market.

CCS involves capturing the carbon dioxide from fossil fuels to prevent greenhouse gases.

At the moment the UK has no Advanced Supercritical Plant or Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle power generation plants in operation but after 2030 the National Metals Technology Centre (Namtec) says 100 such plants will need to built around the world each year, all running on fossil fuels and, thus, all each requiring carbon capture and storage (CCS) capability.

Four CCS demonstrators are currently in development in the UK and one of these – thought most likely to be the Long Gannet project in Scotland – will win £1bn worth of Government money to development the processing plant. This will be the largest sum of money committed to a CCS project by any government in the world.

On the UK’s real competitive advantage in the global CCS market, Rachel Crisp from the Department for Energy, the Environment and Climate Change said: “France has very little in this field. The UK is legitimately a world leader in CCS technology. We have a natural geology advantage for carbon storage in the North Sea, and £1bn is the largest funding amount for a single CCS project in the world.”

At Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre this morning, Mr Clegg stood beside the Special Metals Forum (SMF) and the National Metals Technology Centre (Namtec) as the two organisations launched a bible on the technologies employed and the opportunities available within the CCS supply chain.

It highlights the technologies that a unified UK supply chain can exploit to develop a leading CCS industry, including oxy fuel capture and pre and post combustion carbon capture. It includes information on routes to market and the accreditations that are required to work in the industry.

Also included is a directory of organisations involved in metals manufacturing who have an interest in and capabilities relevant to CCS as well as support organisations and information on pilot and demonstration plant activities.

“The green economy has the potential to be an integral part of our economy, as well as being vital to the battle against climate change,” said Mr Clegg.

“I am delighted that this report identifies the opportunities in carbon capture and storage, and look forward to seeing how it is exploited to create jobs and growth in the UK.”

Asked whether the concerns about the UK’s conditions for research and development following the decision by Pfizer to close its Kent R&D centre this week were germane to the exploitation of CCS technology, Mr Clegg said:

“Pfizer’s decision was very disappointing but the company made it very clear it was based on a long term strategy, that would also affect sites in the US and Germany, and not on any UK-specific conditions. In fact Glaxo SmithKline said this week that since the Government created the £1bn Patent Box, the UK has become a more attractive location for R&D internationally.”

He said there were barriers to CCS technology exploitation, exemplified when E.On dropped out of the Kings North ASC project in November last year, but that the Government was trying to overcome these and were talking to Scottish Power taking over from E.On at Kings North.

Peter Birtles, chairman of the SMF, added: “The aim of this report is to provide the first ever review of the technology, materials and opportunities for carbon capture and storage for power generation, highlighting opportunities for metals companies to create a robust supply chain within the UK.”

“This unique publication will be invaluable for anyone wishing to equip themselves with the knowledge and insight required to thrive in the carbon capture storage supply chain at this early stage of development.”

More than 60 organisations have contributed their expertise and technical interests to the report. Delegates in attendance at today’s launch included representatives of Sheffield Forgemasters, Alstrom UK, Doosan Babcock and Siemens.

The Government’s carbon capture white paper published in March 2010 calculated that this sector can generate 100,000 jobs in the UK by 2030.