New MHI BECCS pilot plant at Drax

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A new bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot facility will be installed within Drax’s CCUS Incubation Area in the autumn.

The pilot facility will enable Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to demonstrate its BECCS technology can be used at scale and help deliver against the UK’s zero carbon targets.

The new MHI BECCS pilot will enhance Drax’s technical understanding for delivering negative emissions at the UK’s largest renewable power generator and help the energy company to drive forward its world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030.

Drax Group and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd., part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group (MHI), have agreed a new bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project at Drax Power Station which will get underway this autumn.

The pilot will test MHI’s carbon capture technology – marking another step on Drax’s journey towards achieving its world-leading ambition to be a carbon negative company by 2030.

MHI’s 12-month pilot will capture around 300kg of CO2 a day for the purpose of confirming its technology’s suitability for use with biomass flue gases at Drax.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said  “Our plans to develop ground-breaking BECCS at the power station in North Yorkshire will help to boost the UK’s economy following the Covid crisis and support the development of a zero carbon industrial cluster in the Humber region – delivering clean growth and protecting thousands of jobs.

“We’re very pleased to be working with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on this exciting pilot which will further our understanding of the potential for deploying BECCS at scale at Drax – taking us closer to achieving our world-leading ambition to be a carbon negative company by 2030.”

Two of MHI’s proprietary solvents will be tested, one of which — KS-1TM Solvent — is already being used at 13 commercial plants delivered by MHI, including Petra Nova in Texas, USA, the world’s largest post combustion carbon capture facility, capturing 1.4 million tonnes of CO2 a year. The other  is the newly developed KS-21TM Solvent,  designed to achieve significant performance improvements and cost savings.

Kenji Terasawa, President & CEO, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, said:

“We are very proud to be a part of the BECCS pilot project with Drax. We firmly believe that our carbon capture technology would be able to contribute to the UK’s zero carbon targets in a material way.”

Implementing BECCS at Drax could deliver 16 million tonnes of negative emissions a year – a third of the negative emissions the UK needs from BECCS to reach its zero carbon targets by 2050 and anchor a zero carbon industrial cluster in the Humber region, delivering clean growth whilst protecting 55,000 jobs.

Katie Hedges

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