£2bn carbon capture project at Drax plant in Yorkshire


Plans to progress carbon capture and storage at one of the UK’s largest power plants has been confirmed by the UK Government. 

Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire
Credit: Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire.

Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire is in talks with Whitehall having passed the Power BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage) projects deliverability assessment. 

It comes as ministers agreed to support deployment of large-scale BECCS projects by 2030, and after chancellor Jeremy Hunt pledged £20 billion for carbon capture and storage schemes in his Spring Budget 

Net zero  

The Government is aiming for 5Mtpa of engineered Greenhouse Gas Removals (GGRs) by 2030. “Drax believes that BECCS at Drax Power Station is the only project that can enable the Government to achieve this goal,” said the company. 

The Government has also committed to publish its biomass strategy by the end of June 2023, which will set out how the technology could be deployed.  

How Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) works 

CCS involves the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial processes which are harmful to the atmosphere, such as cement production, or the burning of fossil fuels, using facilities like Drax adopting BECCS.   

The carbon is then treated and transported, usually via ship or pipeline, to deep, underground storage, among geological formations. 

The Government has stated it will work closely with electricity generators currently using biomass to facilitate a transition to Power BECCS. 

£2 billion investment  

Drax is the UK’s largest single source of renewable electricity and is in the process of closing two legacy coal units this year. 

“Delivery of BECCS at Drax Power Station will help the UK achieve its net zero targets, create thousands of jobs across the north and help ensure the UK’s long-term energy security,” said Drax Group CEO, Will Gardiner. 

“With the right engagement from Government and swift decision making, Drax stands ready to progress our £2 billion investment programme and deliver this critical project for the UK by 2030.” 

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