A long-term carbon capture contract has been signed between British power company, Drax Group, and Japanese engineering giant, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

The contract will allow Drax, already the largest decarbonisation project in Europe, to use Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd’s (a subsidiary of MHI) patented carbon capture technology, the Advanced KM CDR Process.

The technology involves using an amine-based adsorbent, KS-21, to help capture carbon. Already adopted at 13 commercial plants, the solvent is expected to enable reduced running costs and provide other economic benefits.

The Yorkshire-based Drax has become a pioneer in decarbonisation, achieving an emission reduction of more than 85% and becoming the largest project of its kind in Europe.

By converting its power station to run on biomass instead of coal, the company is firmly set on harnessing MHI’s bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology and becoming carbon negative by 2030.

With climate change being a focal point amongst world leaders at this weekend’s G7 summit and at COP26 later this year, the project intends to help the UK achieve its target to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035.

Having already conducted successful trials with MHI’s carbon capture technology, Will Gardinar, CEO of Drax Group, is confident that this deal will help stimulate global environmental leadership from the UK, saying, “The world urgently needs to move from making climate pledges to taking climate action.”

“This game-changing contract between Drax and MHI could contribute to a decade of global environmental leadership from the UK and provide further stimulus to a post-Covid economic recovery.”

“Drax stands ready to invest further in this essential negative emissions technology, which not only permanently removes CO2 from the atmosphere, but also delivers the reliable, renewable electricity needed for clean, green economic growth.”

In addition to fulfilling its carbon reduction goals, MHI plans on locating its core CCS team at the company’s London headquarters, with the potential of further employment opportunities being made available.

The possibility of showcasing pioneering UK innovation and advanced Japanese technology proved an exciting prospect for Kenji Terasawa, President & CEO of MHI, he said, “We are very proud to have been selected as Drax’s technology partner and we firmly believe that our carbon capture technology will make a significant contribution to the UK and wider global community achieving their net zero targets.”

“We look forward to expanding our presence in the UK and developing a centre of excellence for the deployment of carbon capture technology across Europe, the Middle East and Africa region.”

Capable of capturing and storing at least eight million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030, Drax could implement BECCS technology at its North Yorkshire power station by 2027. The creation of thousands of jobs is anticipated as soon as work begins in 2024.