The UK’s first industrial-scale Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) demonstration plant is to be built by Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE) as the government announces £26 million of funding.
Funding for Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) was first announced with the Clean Growth Strategy, with the government committing up to £100 million from the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Energy Innovation Programme for the technology.
And in the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) net zero report, CCUS was presented as being ‘crucial’ to reaching the target, though the CCC raised concerns that there were not yet any large-scale plants in the UK.
The first large-scale CCU plant is to be built after receiving a £4.2 million grant from BEIS through the Carbon Capture and Utilisation Demonstration (CCUD) programme. The remainder of the £16.7 million project will be funded by TCE.
When the plant becomes operational in 2021, it will be capable of capturing up to 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, reducing TCE’s emissions by 11%.
Planning permission has already been granted for the Northwich site, which already houses TCE’s 96MWe gas-fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant. Carbon dioxide will be captured from the flue gases of the CHP, purified and liquefied to be used to manufacture of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate.
Eight other projects have also received funding from the £26 million today announced for CCUS. Two of the projects, run by Drax and Origen Power, are to receive funding under the CCUD programme. The remaining six projects are innovation projects looking to reduce the cost or accelerate the rollout of CCUS in the UK.
Martin Ashcroft, managing director of TCE, said the project is a “great example” of collaboration between business and government to tackle decarbonisation of industrial production.
“We hope that this project will demonstrate the viability of CCU and pave the way for further applications of the technology to support the decarbonisation of industrial activity.”