Five industrial giants have committed to curb harmful emissions from the cement and lime industry.
The Peak Cluster group aims to ramp up its carbon capture and storage (CCS) efforts across Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire.
It pledged to cut more than 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the Peak District each year by 2030.
It could reduce emissions from UK cement and lime manufacture by 40%, the Cluster claimed.
It comes as the UK awards its first round of carbon dioxide storage licences – and shortly after chancellor Jeremy Hunt pledged £20 billion for CCS in his Spring Budget.
Twelves firms, including Centrica owned Spirit Energy, have been granted 20 permits to store carbon dioxide in depleted oil and gas fields off the British coast.
The UK Government aims for around 30 million tonnes (9% of current emissions) to be stashed every year by 2030. However, there are currently no active CCS sites in the UK.
Peak Cluster – the five companies
Led by oil and natural gas company, Progressive Energy, the project was initiated by five cement and lime plants in the Peak District and Staffordshire Moorlands:
- Aggregate Industries
- Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant (Cheshire)
Emissions from industrial plants in Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire will be captured, transported and stored at Liverpool Bay CCS or the Morecambe Net Zero project, beneath the East Irish Sea.
Cement is the main ingredient in concrete and currently essential in delivery of property and infrastructure.
However, 40% of all UK cement and lime is manufactured in the Peak District and local area, and carbon dioxide emitted from the cement and concrete industry accounts for around a quarter of the total emissions in Derbyshire and Staffordshire.
“Peak Cluster will make a crucial contribution towards the UK’s drive to net zero, making a serious impact on local, regional and national climate change targets,” said John Egan of Progressive Energy and Peak Cluster project director.
Adding: “The project will help industry to continue to thrive into the future – safeguarding jobs, maintaining a booming supply chain and allowing current and future generations to continue to work in, and enjoy, this beautiful region.”
The mineral products industry contributes around £18 billion to UK GDP and directly employs 81,000 people, supporting a further 3.5 million jobs.
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