Following the Government’s Cluster Sequencing competition, two successful carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) clusters have been announced with a third selected as a reserve cluster.

The East Coast Cluster - which aims to remove up to 50% of the UK’s industrial cluster carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – proved to be successful in its bid. The cluster is a collaboration between Zero Carbon Humber, Net Zero Teesside and Northern Endurance Partnership.

The second cluster that will be ‘taken forward’ by the Government is HyNet North West, a project which aims to deliver low carbon hydrogen and CCUS in the North West of England and North Wales.

Not able to gain full direct Government support, the Scottish Cluster – focusing on the Acorn CCS project in North East Scotland - was announced as a reserve cluster.

Calling it a ‘significant step’ towards meeting the country’s net zero target, Ruth Herbert, Chief Executive, Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), said that the selected projects will not only showcase the breadth of applications for CCUS, but also provide regional growth in the UK’s industrial heartlands.

Stating that it’s ‘absolutely critical’ that the industry has clarity over the long-term rollout of CCUS, she added, “As the UK prepares to host COP26 in November, we believe this commitment will send a strong signal that the UK is serious about meeting the Paris Agreement.”

The projects selected will go on to progress within Track 1 of the industrial decarbonisation Cluster Sequencing process.

Expressing his delight that HyNet had been successful in its selection, David Parkin, Project Director, said, “HyNet is led by the demand from organisations and stakeholders across the North West of England and North Wales, who all want to reduce carbon emissions to net zero.”

“As one of the first industrial decarbonisation clusters, we will establish the blueprint to decarbonise our industry and position the UK as a low carbon global leader.”

HyNet’s Track 1 development plan will see it beginning to decarbonise industry from 2025.

With its aim to deliver low-cost CCS in North East Scotland by 2023, the Acorn CCS project was seen as a strong contender for the Scottish Cluster gaining a top spot.

Admitting being disappointed with the outcome of the sequencing bid for the Scottish Cluster, Nick Cooper, CEO, Storegga, said, “We remain convinced of the potential and significant advantages of the Scottish cluster.”

“The Acorn project will play a significant role in achieving UK net zero and will be developed.”