The UK government is poised to approve the multi-billion BECCS scheme of British power generation major Drax (LON: DRX) that involves attaching two carbon capture plants to the group’s four generating units in North Yorkshire, The Telegraph has reported.
With a proposed $2.5 billion (£2 billion) investment, Drax intends to develop two bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) units at its power station, potentially generating up to 10,000 jobs during the peak construction phase.
BECCS, also promoted by the European Union, involves capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide (CO2) from processes where biomass is converted into fuels or directly burned to generate energy.
However, the technology is being challenged in the UK by environmental organizations, which argue that carbon captured from wood burning is falsely being categorized as negative emissions despite being, at best, neutral.
Nonetheless, the UK’s Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho is anticipated to secure approval for the BECCS scheme in North Yorkshire this week.
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Drax envisions this move as a pivotal step towards becoming the world’s first carbon-negative power station.
The group aims to position itself as the core of the Zero Carbon Humber, the UK’s inaugural zero-carbon industrial cluster, contributing significantly to the decarbonization efforts in Northern England.
Drax Group’s CEO, Will Gardiner, expressed optimism about the project, highlighting the need for swift decision-making and government engagement.
He emphasized the significance of BECCS in securing renewable power and achieving carbon removals on a large scale, and pointed out the growing global demand, particularly in the United States.
“Our BECCS plans in North Yorkshire would create one of the world’s largest engineered carbon removals projects and put the Humber and the UK on the map as the global centre of BECCS development,” the chief executive was quoted as saying.
Drax anticipates alignment with the UK government’s target of deploying five million tons of carbon removals by 2030, viewing BECCS at Drax Power Station as a critical component in achieving this goal.
Read more: Drax Group Joins The Carbon Business Council