Drax Group, Equinor (previously known as Statoil) and National Grid Ventures are to work together to explore how a large-scale carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) network and a hydrogen production facility could be constructed in the Humber in the mid-2020s.
The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to:
- Explore the opportunity to scale-up the bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project at the Drax power station in order to create the world’s first carbon negative power station in the 2020s. The project is currently capturing a tonne of carbon dioxide a day.
- Explore the potential development of a large-scale hydrogen demonstrator within the Drax site by the mid-2020s – in line with the CCC’s recommendation that hydrogen should be produced at scale in at least one industrial cluster by 2030.
- Explore the strategic opportunities in developing a cutting-edge hydrogen economy in the region.
A study outlining the technical, economic and societal opportunities for CCUS and hydrogen in the Humber region will be published by the partners later this year.
Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “The Committee on Climate Change was clear – the UK needs both bioenergy with CCS and hydrogen production at scale by 2030 to achieve a ‘net zero’ carbon economy.
“…For decades the Humber has been a strategically important industrial cluster for the UK – it has the skills, industrial capability as well as offshore storage to transform itself into a cutting-edge low carbon hub.”
Irene Rummelhoff, Equinor’s executive vice president for marketing, midstream and processing, said: “As a global leader in CCS and a major gas supplier to the UK for many decades, we are committed to helping shape sustainable solutions for a low carbon future.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Drax and National Grid Ventures in looking at how the Humber region can be a launch pad for wider decarbonisation in the UK economy and be an example for others to learn from. Globally we must see substantial decarbonisation of industry and energy in the years ahead, and we believe CCS and hydrogen must play a significant role in this.”
Jon Butterworth, chief operating officer, global transmission, for National Grid Ventures, said: “We have seen rapid progress in decarbonising energy through established technologies such as wind power, solar and electricity interconnectors. CCUS and hydrogen create a new pathway to greater decarbonisation of the energy system and provide a platform for decarbonising other areas of our economy, which will be to the benefit of current and future generations.”