North Yorkshire could soon be home to the world’s largest carbon capture facility, after energy company Drax submitted plans to build two bioenergy units at its power station in Selby – investing £2bn over the coming decade.
The two units will feature carbon capture and storage (BECCS) facilities, creating and supporting thousands of jobs in the North and helping the UK lead in a vital new technology needed to address climate change.
The company has applied for a development consent order to the planning inspectorate, following two major consultations from the group to gauge public and stakeholder opinions on the project.
Once operational, the two units combined will capture at least 8m tonnes of CO2 per year, making it the largest carbon capture and storage project in power in the world.
Work to build BECCS at Drax could start as soon as 2024.
Drax plans to source up to 80 per cent of the materials and services it needs to build its BECCS project from British businesses.
It recently announced a partnership with British Steel to identify opportunities to source the steel to build BECCS from its Scunthorpe and Teesside steelworks.
Drax Group chief executive Will Gardiner said: “Drax aims to invest billions of pounds and create thousands of jobs developing BECCS in the UK, provided that the Government has in place policies to support the feasibility and delivery of negative emissions technologies. BECCS at Drax will not only permanently remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, but it will also generate the reliable, renewable power this country needs. No other technology can do both.”
Last week, Drax reached a deal with National Grid to extend the lifespan of its two coal-fired units over winter as a back-up energy source.
The Government has been pushing to keep the UK’s few remaining coal plants operational over the winter, in case of a supply crunch amid escalating geopolitical volatility.