£1.3M of work to capture and store the Northeast's CO2 offshore
(10 August 2010)
Plans to develop Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in North East England have taken a further step forward with £1.3m of major new development work announced as part of the Tees Valley Industrial Programme (TVIP).
Carbon emissions from the Tees Valley total approximately 19 million tonnes per annum from 18 major emitters and a CCS solution is seen as vital in safeguarding and attracting investment and jobs in the Process and Chemical Industries.
Recognising the opportunities and risks associated with CCS for the Tees Valley and broader region’s major emitters, partners delivering the TVIP are committed to putting in place the building blocks for private investment in a CCS network.
A major part of the package announced today is support for bids to secure a CCS demonstrator in the region. Progressive Energy has been awarded £240,000 through the TVIP and Rio Tinto Alcan £430,000 to develop their plans for a CCS scheme to the point where the companies could submit bids for major funding from the UK Government’s national CCS demonstrator programme.
Progressive Energy’s plans include an 850MW Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant with pre-combustion CO2 capture, to be constructed on a brownfield site at Eston Grange. CO2 will be compressed and transported from the plant to a pumping station on the shoreline, where it will be pressure elevated to allow transmission and injection into the storage site aquifer, or for storage as part of an enhanced oil recovery operation.
Rio Tinto Alcan’s existing Lynemouth Power Station is considered a potential site where demonstration of retrofit technology could be applied. The Lynemouth project could see one of the three units on the site converted to CCS technology and as a result increase energy generation by more than 150%. Carbon emissions from the unit would be removed, transported via under-sea pipeline and stored in the off-shore aquifer.
Peter Whitton, Managing Director of Progressive Energy said “We envisaged the CCS network for Teesside and the wider North East in 2006 and have put considerable effort into developing the anchor CCS projects since then.
“We are delighted to receive this timely support from One North East. The proposition we will be putting forward for funding from the UK Government’s CCS demonstration programme is strong and we look forward to continuing to work with other stakeholders in the region in attracting this funding to the North East.”
Wyn Jones, Managing Director of Rio Tinto Alcan’s UK business said: “Due to its North Sea coastline location and the compelling technology prospect that has been developed, Rio Tinto recognises the potential of its Lynemouth site as a demonstrator of full chain CCS. We want to assist the potential consortium partners in delivering CCS to the region and One North East’s funding marks a significant step forward.”
The second element of today’s announcement is £415,000 TVIP funding for Durham University to investigate storage options in the North Sea in support of a future North East England CCS project. This will be led by Professor Richard Davies, Director of the University’s Durham Energy Institute, who will also be looking into the social acceptability of the technology and other storage options around the UK.
Professor Davies said: “We are excited to receive this investment. It supports critical work on how we could use CO2 produced from the Teesside region to drive the remaining oil reserves from under the North Sea and also on the viability of other offshore underground storage options. CO2 could help add three billion barrels to the declining oil reserves in the UK.”
One North East is also funding two studies with £200,000 from the TVIP to investigate CCS for the Tees Valley from engineering and financial perspectives. AMEC and Element Energy have been appointed to undertake techno-economic investigations, looking at engineering options for a CCS network and the private investment required to deliver a viable network. Key industrial players such as Sabic, Lucite International and Growhow are involved in the work, which will report in September 2010.
Public and private sector partners in the North East have been working for some time on CCS and a stakeholder group is in place, made up of One North East, Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU), the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), the Association of North East Councils, RENEW, and major firms including Sabic, Growhow, Lucite International, Rio Tinto Alcan and Progressive Energy. One North East is also engaging partners across the UK, including the Department of Energy and Climate Change, making sure that the Tees Valley and the North East have higher visibility and that awareness of industrial emissions is increased.
One North East Director of Business and Industry, Ian Williams, said: “Public and private sector partners in North East England are committed to developing a Carbon Capture and Storage network. These investments will give us a real understanding of how this project could be taken forward and enable both Rio Tinto Alcan and Progressive Energy to prepare significant bids to submit to the Government.
“The UK can lead the way in this vital low-carbon technology and we want the North East to be at the forefront of this work.”