US energy group wins £4.2m feasibility study for Grangemouth carbon-capture coal-gas power plant

Carbon captureBy DARA BUTTERFIELD

The UK and Scottish Governments have put up £4.2 million for industrial research and feasibility work for a carbon-capture-storage power station in Grangemouth.

The findings of the industrial research feasibility work will be shared across industry and academia, increasing understanding of how to develop and deploy CCS at commercial scale.

Seattle-based Summit Power Group is to use the funding to undertake substantial industrial research and feasibility studies with the ultimate objective of designing, siting, financing, and building a full–chain 570 MW CCS coal-gasification power station for their proposed Caledonia Clean Energy Project.

The funding – £1.7 million from Department of Energy (DECC) and £2.5 million from the Scottish Government – will allow a detailed programme of research and development work to be undertaken over an 18 month period to advance the engineering design of the project.

For the first time, this large scale low-carbon power project aims to combine and integrate state-of-the-art coal gasification, 570 MW power generation, and carbon capture technologies in a single facility. The proposed power station will be fitted with CCS technology designed to capture 90% of C02 emissions which would then be transported via existing on-shore pipelines and existing sub-sea pipelines for permanent geological storage 2km beneath the North Sea.

The carbon dioxide (CO2) captured will be transported via pipeline to St. Fergus by National Grid and then transferred offshore. Summit Power recently developed a very similar project in the USA – the Texas Clean Energy Project.

If the Summit Power study proves the viability and feasibility of the proposed Grangemouth CCS power plant, this will be well received by the Scottish Government for both political and power-supply reasons given the decision by Scottish Power to shut down its nearby Longannet coal-fired power station with the loss of more than 1,000 direct and indirectly-created jobs.

This  may also prove persuasive when Fife Council comes to consider the anticipated coal-gas mining application expected this year  from Cluff  Resources. See also: Scottish Energy News, 24 February 2015:

Forthcoming low-carbon Forth Estuary coal-gasification development could dwarf Scottish renewables wind energy:  http://goo.gl/bVqHhG

Ed Davey, UK Energy Minister, said: “Carbon Capture and Storage could be crucial in helping us meet our ambitious climate change goals. The UK is one of the world’s frontrunners in this sector and the UK Government is leading Europe with its support of the two competition projects – at Peterhead in Scotland and White Rose in Yorkshire.

“Developing carbon-capture more widely is vital if it is to become cost-competitive technology, and I’m excited at the prospect of Grangemouth contributing to the UK’s low carbon future.”

Luke Warren, Chief Executive, Carbon Capture Storage Association, commented: “This announcement highlights the importance which both Governments place in the potential role of CCS in delivering the UK’s future low carbon energy mix.

 “The current Competition to develop the UK’s first CCS projects – the White Rose project at the Drax site in Yorkshire and the Peterhead Gas CCS project in Scotland – is progressing with detailed engineering work and final investment decisions expected towards the end of this year. But if the UK is to deliver commercial CCS, then it is essential that the competition delivers two projects.”

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