Energy and Clean Growth Minister visits innovative carbon capture pilot at Drax

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Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry has visited Drax Power Station’s bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot plant.

BECCS has been identified as an essential technology for achieving global climate targets and the UK government announced new plans for developing CCS at the first ever world summit on CCS held in Edinburgh this week.

Drax has invested £400,000 in its BECCS pilot, which uses technology developed by Leeds University spin out company C-Capture, and is expected to capture a tonne of carbon dioxide a day during the six month project.

If successful and the technology is scaled up, it could enable Drax to achieve negative emissions – meaning the power it produces would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere; vital in tackling climate change.

During her visit to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, the minister met the team behind the innovative project and heard about the commissioning of the plant, which got underway this week, and coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Climate Change Act.

This project at Drax is already helping to put the UK on the map when it comes to carbon capture. The development of this cutting-edge technology to reduce emissions while growing the economy shows our modern Industrial Strategy in action. It is game-changing technology, which is why we need to supercharge its deployment.”

The government announced it was providing £20m to develop carbon capture equipment at industrial sites, as well as plans to repurpose fossil fuel infrastructure, such as reusing old gas pipelines to transport carbon, at the CCS summit in Edinburgh this week.

The project at Drax includes the use of equipment no longer used to control sulphur on four of the generating units at the power station which have been upgraded to use sustainable biomass, instead of coal. This is because the wood pellets used to generate renewable power, produce minimal levels of sulphur.

Since upgrading two thirds of the power station to use biomass instead of coal, Drax has become the UK’s largest renewable power generator and the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Animation: https://vimeo.com/draxgroup/beccs

Katie Hedges

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