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Region-wide CCS Scheme is the Best - Study Finds

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A new industry study has confirmed that the CO2 pipeline network proposed for the region would be the most cost effective way of implementing carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The pipeline would link up industrial emitters from across the region and transport carbon dioxide into storage locations in the North Sea, as reported extensively.
This would enable faster deployment of CCS technology in the region than having several individual pipelines from the various large emitters in the region.
The study, commissioned by CO2Sense Yorkshire which chairs an industry group featuring the likes of Corus, Drax Power, National Grid, AMEC and Air Products has undertaken a further study of pipeline network designs and costs utilising the technical expertise AMEC.
It builds on previous work carried out on behalf of the group by CO2Sense Yorkshire – owned and funded by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward –that originally highlighted the potential of the network and the finance/support structures that could be introduced to enable the development of such a network.
This latest report concludes that constructing a pipeline network system out to an offshore storage location, with the capacity to initially carry 40 million tonnes of CO2 per year, would lead to savings of £250m costing approximately £650m to build in comparison with early carbon capture projects building individual 'point to point' pipelines which would cost £900m.
This analysis shows that investing in additional pipeline capacity in the initial phase of CCS development in the region would be cost effective even if subsequent developers do not join the network for up to 11 years. This approach also minimises the planning, environmental and technical impact of the network in comparison with a number of 'point to point' pipelines. Furthermore, the operational costs may fall as each new capture project sends CO2 into the pipeline.
The UK is taking a leading and proactive approach to support the development of commercial scale CCS demonstration projects which are likely to be funded through a CCS levy on electricity bills. This saving through the development of shared infrastructure would create a direct public and business benefit as it would reduce the funding necessary from the levy.
Stephen Brown, director of Carbon Capture and Storage at CO2Sense Yorkshire, said: "Commercial scale CO2 capture projects in the region are likely to be developed gradually over a 15-20 year period. Constructing a high capacity CO2 pipeline in the early years will enable industry to invest in CO2 capture projects with the confidence of knowing that transportation and storage was available to them more cheaply than if they built and operated their own pipeline and store.
"Securing this new infrastructure for the region with the right level of capacity will be crucial in enabling existing power stations and heavy industry to invest in CO2 capture technology with confidence. The infrastructure could also help in attracting additional investment into the region as the availability of infrastructure of this nature and scale becomes a defining factor in the decision of where to locate energy intensive industry within the UK. This scale of ambition will be at the forefront of leading the region into a low carbon future." (Source: Scunthorpe)
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