Drax's carbon capture project developer welcomes influential MP

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 9 Oct 2018

The company developing innovative carbon capture technology which could enable regional giant Drax Power Station to become carbon negative has welcomed the Business and Energy Select Committee Chair to its laboratories.

During the visit to C-Capture’s premises, Rachel Reeves MP heard how a Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) pilot project is expected to get underway at Drax Power Station this autumn, which will be the first of its kind in Europe.

The chemistry being used in the pilot project has been developed by C-Capture – a Leeds University spin-out.

During her visit to the company’s facilities, Ms Reeves, who is MP for Leeds West, got to see some of the equipment which will be installed at Drax Power Station for the pilot. 

She said: “This BECCS project between C-Capture and Drax is ground-breaking. If it works, it could put Yorkshire and the UK at the forefront of the race to develop the BECCS technology which is essential to tackling climate change. It’s very exciting and I look forward to hearing more as the pilot progresses.”

Rachel Reeves MP, centre, with Andy Koss front right, and the C-Capture team.

BECCS is vital to global efforts to combat climate change because the technology will mean the gases that cause global warning can be removed from the atmosphere at the same time as electricity is produced. This means power generation would no longer contribute to climate change, but would start to reduce the carbon accumulating in the atmosphere.

Drax, the biggest power station in the UK, near Selby, is investing £400,000 in the BECCS pilot project with C-Capture. Since it converted two thirds of the power station to use biomass instead of coal it has become the biggest single site renewable power generator in the country and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Read more: Drax could help keep the fizz in the drinks sector as it captures carbon

Feeding in the raw material are the ports of Immingham and Hull, with the former home to the world's largest terminal of its type, a £130 million investment by ABP.

Andy Koss, Drax Power chief executive, said: “This BECCS pilot has the potential to make the renewable electricity produced at Drax Power Station carbon negative. If we’re serious about meeting our climate targets, then negative emissions are a must – and BECCS is what’s going to get us there.”

Chris Rayner, founder of C-Capture and Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Leeds, added: “During the six month pilot at Drax, we aim to use our chemistry to capture a tonne of carbon a day and in the process demonstrate that if the project was scaled up we could achieve one of the holy grails of CO2 emissions strategies – negative emissions in power production. That’s where we believe the potential CO2 emissions reductions are likely to be the greatest.”

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