About the White Rose CCS Project

Plans to develop an oxyfuel power and carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project of up to 448 MWe gross output have been announced by project partners Alstom, Drax and BOC.  The proposal, named the White Rose Carbon Capture and Storage Project (White Rose CCS Project), is seeking funding from the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Programme being promoted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as well as European funding from the NER 300 programme. The project will be dependent on a successful outcome of these funding processes, and also on the successful outcome of negotiations with the government to establish appropriate market mechanisms to incentivise low-carbon technologies and provide support to the project.

The proposal will comprise a state-of-the-art coal-fired power plant that is equipped with full carbon capture and storage technology. The plant will also have the potential to co-fire biomass. The project is intended to prove CCS technology at commercial scale and demonstrate it as a competitive form of low-carbon power generation and as an important technology in tackling climate change.  It will also play an important role in establishing a CO2 transportation and storage network in the Yorkshire and Humber area.

The standalone power plant will be located at the existing Drax Power Station site near Selby, North Yorkshire, generating electricity for export to the Electricity Transmission Network as well as capturing approximately 2 million tonnes of CO2 per year, some 90% of all CO2 emissions produced by the plant. The CO2 will be transported through National Grid’s proposed pipeline for permanent undersea storage in the North Sea.

The power plant technology, known as oxyfuel combustion, burns fuel in a modified combustion environment with the resulting combustion gases being high in CO2 concentration. This allows the CO2 produced to be captured without the need for additional chemical separation, before being piped for storage.

A new company named Capture Power Limited (Capture Power) has been formed to develop, implement and operate the White Rose CCS Project by the consortium partners. Alstom will have responsibility for construction of the power plant together with the CO2 processing unit and BOC will have responsibility for the construction of the air separation unit that supplies oxygen for combustion. Drax will have responsibility for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the power plant and the CO2 processing facility with BOC having responsibility for the O&M of the air separation unit.

As a separate associated project, National Grid will construct and operate the CO2 transport pipelines and, with partners, the permanent CO2 undersea storage facilities at a North Sea site.

It is planned that the White Rose CCS Power Project will be located on land owned by Drax immediately to the North of the existing larger power station. When viewed from the North, the existing power station will form the backdrop to the new plant.

It is envisaged that the majority of coal and biomass for the new plant will be delivered by rail and stored at facilities that provide for the existing power station.

At a national level the White Rose CCS Project will contribute to a range of potential benefits:

  • Demonstrating oxyfuel CCS technology as a cost effective and viable low-carbon technology.
  • Reducing CO2 emissions in order to meet future environmental legislation and combat climate change.
  • Improving the UK’s security of electricity supply by providing a new, flexible and reliable coal-based low-carbon electricity generation option.
  • Generating enough low-carbon electricity to supply the energy needs of the equivalent of over 630,000 households.
  • Acting as an anchor project for the development of a CO2 transportation and storage network in the UK’s most energy intensive region thereby facilitating decarbonisation and attracting new investment.

Local benefits of the proposal include:

  • An expected average of 1,000 new construction jobs during the construction period at the Drax site.
  • At least 60 operational jobs at the new plant as well as additional indirect supply and maintenance posts.
  • Increased turnover for local businesses during the construction and operational periods.

A development consent order will be made to the Planning Inspectorate in the second half of 2014.

Ed Davey, Secretary of State at the Department of Energy & Climate Change, explains how CCS is critical to a low carbon future in the UK

Peter Emery, Director at Capture Power, describes why the Yorkshire and Humber region is particularly suited to CCS

Richard Simon-Lewis, Head of Finance at Capture Power, describes how commercial aspects of the White Rose CCS Project will be developed