GROUND-breaking carbon capture technology at Ferrybridge Power Station will pave the way to lowering CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
The CCPilot100+ – which separates natural gas and hydrogen from the CO2 produced in flue gas – is the UK’s largest carbon capture trial plant to be integrated into a live power station.
The plant was officially opened yesterday by MP Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Climate and Energy Change, who is leading the government’s plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
Mr Huhne said: “The flagship test programme at Ferrybridge Power Station represents an important milestone in the UK’s plans to develop carbon capture and storage and provides a critical bridge to meeting our long term aim of cost competitive carbon capture and storage deployment by the 2020s.”
Smaller carbon capture projects have captured one tonne of carbon dioxide per day but energy supplier SSE’s commercial-scale project at Ferrybridge will separate 100 tonnes of CO2 – around 90 per cent – from the flue gas produced from burning coal at the plant.
Universities and industry regulators, including the Environment Agency, will study the development, cost and performance of the carbon capture project, which will be operational in January.
Research will contribute to future carbon storage plans which aim to send CO2 out to natural chambers in the sea bed, preventing it from being released into the air.
Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, which runs Ferrybridge Power Station, said: “The development of viable carbon capture technology is central to the UK’s climate change and energy security objectives.
“We believe projects such as this will be absolutely crucial in establishing when and how the technology can be developed. What we have at Ferrybridge will provide an invaluable source of reference and learning for the industry.”
Government grants contributed £6m to the project which will also create new jobs in the plant.
Yvette Cooper, MP for Pontefract, Castleford and Normanton said: “This is a pioneering project supporting high skilled jobs. This state-of-the-art technology is a vital opportunity for protecting the environment and for developing British science and technology.”
The project is a collaboration between SSE, Doosan Power Systems and energy company Vattenfall, supported by the Technology Strategy Board, Department of Energy and Climate Change and Northern Way.