Government gives £5m for two-year carbon capture programme at Drax

Casper Schoolderman

C-Capture has secured a £5m grant from the Government for a two-year programme of work to progress its bioenergy and carbon capture and storage project at Drax Power Station.

The funding will be used to further develop its understanding of how technology developed by Leeds-based C-Capture could be scaled up to make Drax in North Yorkshire the world’s first negative emissions power station in the 2020s – effectively removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from atmosphere at the same time as electricity is being produced. The company, which was established out of Leeds University’s School of Chemistry, has been working with Drax Group on its BECCS project, which started capturing carbon dioxide from February, proving the technology works.

This award represents a vote of confidence in the scheme and will give C-Capture and Drax Group a clearer understanding of how the technology could be scaled up in the 2020s, enabling Drax Power Station to capture and store up to 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

The funding has been awarded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy through its Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) Innovation Programme.

Minister for Energy and Clean Growth Chris Skidmore said: “Cutting edge technology to capture carbon will cut emissions as we work towards a net zero economy while creating new jobs – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.  This innovative project from C-Capture and Drax represents a major milestone in efforts to rollout carbon capture at scale by the 2030s.”

Casper Schoolderman, COO and Project Lead at C-Capture said:  “The on-going support from BEIS and our shareholders – BP, Drax and IP Group – has allowed C-Capture to build a team with unique skills and capabilities. The technology that we have developed is a game changer for carbon capture. Drax Group’s expertise in re-purposing existing infrastructure and C-Capture’s novel CCUS solution could allow the cost-effective deployment of BECCS for the first time on an industrial scale anywhere in the world.”

Aimed at supporting projects which can help deliver cost effective carbon capture initiatives which could then be used in industrial applications, the BEIS funding will help the UK to lead the world in developing CCUS technologies.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “If we scale C-Capture’s BECCS technology up at Drax across all four of our biomass generating units, the impacts will be far reaching.

“As the world’s first negative emissions power station, Drax could become the ‘anchor’ for a CCS network in the Humber region, capturing carbon from other nearby industrial emitters as well as our own CO2.”

“C-Capture’s technology could enable us to not only make a real impact on reducing our own carbon emissions, but also to deliver clean growth and jobs across the north, as well as new export opportunities for the UK making this project of major significance globally.”