UK govt picks CCUS clusters for state funding
The UK East Coast Cluster and HyNet North West carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects are set to secure state funding after being selected in a cluster sequencing process, the government announced on October 19.
The UK government wants to have at least two CCUS projects up and running by the mid-2020s and at least four online by 2030, in order to fulfil the Climate Change Committee's target of capturing 22mn metric tons/year of CO2 by 2030. The government has set aside £1bn ($1.4bn) of state funds to support these projects.
The East Coast Cluster is expected to remove up to 50% of UK industrial cluster CO2 emissions. The managing director of its developer Northern Endurance Partnership, Andy Lane, noted that the project would also create tens of thousands of jobs and establish the UK as a leader in the energy transition.
Hynet will meanwhile create around 6,000 new jobs and also "kickstarts the hydrogen economy," project director David Parkin said.
"As one of the first industrial decarbonisation clusters, we will establish the blueprint to decarbonise our industry and position the UK as a low carbon global leader," Parkin said.
Another project that had been vying for funding was the Scottish Cluster, the centre piece of which is the Acorn CCS scheme. But the government has listed that project as a reserve cluster, serving as a backup option if negotiations with the developers behind the other two projects fall through.
"Whilst we are disappointed of the outcome of the sequencing bid, we remain convinced of the potential and significant advantages of the Scottish Cluster and are committed to the development of CCS to support decarbonisation of the UK industry and power," Nick Cooper, CEO of Acorn CCS developer Storegga, said in a statement. "We have been very clear that all of the current clusters need to be operating to meet UK net zero targets and will be seeking support to progress as soon as possible."
Acorn CCS secured another potential customer on October 12, after Shell and the other developers of the Project Cavendish blue hydrogen scheme signed a memorandum of understanding to use it for emissions storage.