Teesside Low Carbon is pleased to announce that its Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project has been selected as one of the successful projects to go through to the next phase of the UK CCS Commercialisation competition.

As part of a competitive bidding process, Teesside Low Carbon, a consortium formed by BOC, GDF SUEZ, Premier Oil and Progressive Energy, submitted detailed proposals for a CCS project which will be based on Teesside. This will involve the development of a syngas plant to convert coal to carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen.

The hydrogen will be used to generate green electricity whilst the CO2 will be captured and safely transported for long-term storage under the Central North Sea. As a result of today’s announcement, Teesside Low Carbon will work with DECC (Department of Energy & Climate Change) to refine aspects of the proposals included in the consortium’s bid.  The next stage of selection involves the further development of engineering designs and planning applications for the project infrastructure.

Teesside Low Carbon is also in line for a funding award under the EU NER300 programme as DECC has also announced that, subject to ultimate success in the UK competition,  it will support the Teesside Low Carbon project as one of its nominated schemes. It is expected that the Teesside Low Carbon consortium will make an investment decision in 2014, subject to appropriate planning and other regulatory approvals. The project, which will be centred on the Wilton International chemical complex, will provide sufficient low carbon electricity for over half a million households and will initiate the construction of vital carbon capture infrastructure for key industrial emitters of CO2 in the region such as the GrowHow fertiliser plant at Billingham, just north of the Tees.

It is expected that around 250 direct jobs will be created in what could ultimately be a £2bn project, and a workforce of over 1000 will be involved in its construction over a four-year period. Peter Whitton, managing director of Progressive Energy, the company which pioneered the project on Teesside said,  “CCS underpins economic growth by providing energy security, creating jobs and economic prosperity whilst tackling climate change.  We are delighted that the UK Government has recognised the massive potential that our project can deliver for Teesside and the wider north of England. As well as creating direct employment, the project will provide a critically important facility for existing North East industries and enable further potential inward investment.”

“Around 28,000 jobs are associated with the chemical industry on Teesside and the CO2 capture infrastructure created by this project will provide a way, in some cases the only way, for these companies to decarbonise their operations avoiding the increasing cost of carbon emissions which could threaten their continued viability.”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) states that CCS could reduce global CO2 emissions by 19% and that fighting climate change could cost 70% more without CCS.