Capture Power Limited, the consortium of Alstom, Drax and BOC, has had its Development Consent Order (DCO) application to build a state-of-the-art CCS demonstration project, the White Rose CCS Project, has been accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate.

An independent Planning Inspector will now consider the merits of the proposed White Rose CCS Project before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change who will make the final decision about whether the Project is granted Development Consent.

On being granted Development Consent, subject to funding being agreed, the intention is to develop a new, up to 448MWe (gross), coal-fired demonstration oxy-fuel power plant with full CCS equipment on land adjacent to the existing Drax Power Station, near Selby, North Yorkshire. The project would be one of the first large scale demonstration plants of its type in the world.

Submission of the DCO is a key milestone for the project, which is now half way through its two-year Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study, a detailed engineering, planning and financial exercise to examine and finalise all aspects of the project ahead of taking the final investment decision.

Commenting on the announcement, Leigh Hackett, CEO of Capture Power, said, “We are pleased to have reached such an important milestone in the White Rose CCS Project. Much work has already been undertaken to get us this far, including an extensive consultation exercise with the local community and a technical consultation on issues such as visual impact, ecology, noise, traffic and air quality. The results of the consultation have been very positive and we are particularly pleased by the support we have received from the local community.”

“We are now half way through the FEED study which is progressing well and [is on schedule to complete around the end of 2015]. The White Rose CCS Project has great potential to demonstrate oxy-fuel combustion CCS technology and kick start the development of a CCS hub in the Yorkshire and Humber region.”

Fact file

Alstom, Drax and BOC are the project co-developers. The three partners have formed a company called Capture Power Limited that would be responsible for the development, implementation and operation of the proposed new plant. As a part of this co-operation, Alstom would have responsibility for construction and Drax for operation and maintenance of the power plant including the CO2 capture facilities. BOC would have responsibility for construction, and operation and maintenance of the air separation unit that provides oxygen for the operation of the oxy-fuel combustion capture plant.

In an associated project National Grid Carbon would construct and operate a large capacity CO2 transportation pipeline and permanent undersea storage facilities in the North Sea.

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

·       Demonstrating oxy-fuel combustion 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 the Yorkshire Humber CCS Trunkline, 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 over the three-year plant development period at the Drax site. In addition, the proposed Yorkshire Humber CCS Trunkline is expected to create 954 construction jobs.

·       At least 60 operational jobs at the new plant as well as additional indirect supply and maintenance posts. In addition, the proposed Yorkshire Humber CCS Trunkline is expected to create 37 operational jobs.

Increased turnover for local businesses during the construction and operational periods.