Pipedream: Drax’ s £2billion plan to ‚capture‘ carbon emissions and pump them under the North Sea

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From Tallbloke’s Talkshop

December 28, 2022 by oldbrew 

It’s a dream if they think it makes any difference to anything other than the company balance sheet, except the ‘upto 10,000 jobs’ they claim it will create and support. Do we hear the sound of yet more subsidies going down the climate plughole?
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Bosses at Drax Power Station says they are waiting to hear whether the government will greenlight plans for a £2billion hi-tech scheme to capture carbon emitted from its biomass burners and pump it under the North Sea to be stored, reports yahoo!.

They say the scheme could potentially capture 95 per cent of the carbon emitted from the power station’s two biomass burners at Selby – removing eight million tonnes of carbon a year, and supporting up to 10,000 jobs.

Drax plant director Bruce Heppenstall said the power station had already run two pilot projects to test out the ‘Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage’ (BECCS) technology.

It was, he said, a ‘game changing technology’ that leading climate scientists at the UN’s IPCC said could play a critical role in addressing the climate crisis.

“We are making good progress on BECCS at Drax,” Mr Heppenstall said. “The technology is proven and we’ve applied for planning consent.”

The company is now waiting to hear whether the project will be shortlisted for the UK government’s ‘Track 1’ BECCS power programme.

If it is, Drax will take a final decision on whether to go ahead with the scheme in 2024. A first BECCS unit could then be commissioned in 2027, and a second in 2030.

The BECCS units would work by capturing the carbon dioxide in the flue gas given off when burning biomass for power.

At the moment, this carbon dioxide just escapes into the atmosphere.

“With BECCS the flue gas from power generation would be transferred to an absorption tower,” Mr Heppenstall said.

“CO2 is extracted from the flue gas using a solvent. The carbon-depleted flue gas can then be released into the atmosphere separately.

“The solvent is then heated up in a reboiler to separate out the CO2 into a pure stream ready for transportation through a dedicated CO2 pipeline.

“The pipeline is being developed by our partners in the ECC (the ‘East Coast Cluster’ made up of the Zero Carbon Humber and Net Zero Teesside initiatives) and will take captured CO2 from several sites, including ours, for permanent storage under the seabed of the southern North Sea.”

If it went ahead, Mr Heppenstall said, the carbon capture scheme would help the UK meet its climate targets while maintaining energy security.

Full report here.