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ScottishPower Keeps Eyes on £1bln Carbon Capture Prize
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Article Type: Cited
Nick Horler, chief executive of ScottishPower, yesterday kept up his campaign to win what is expected to be around £1bn from a government competition and said the energy company's Spanish parent Iberdrola remains committed to making the UK a centre of excellence for carbon capture and storage (CCS) development if it emerges the victor.
Horler, who was speaking at the Future of Utilities conference in London yesterday, said: "The UK has been leading the world in aspects of CCS development and boasts a powerful combination of natural storage resources, infrastructure for development, and a supportive government willing to shape regulatory conditions to encourage investment in a low carbon future.”
The competition is aimed at developing coal-fired power stations that can capture and store carbon dioxide emissions as part of the government's green energy policy.
ScottishPower's innovative plan, one of three projects for which power companies are bidding for funding to develop a demonstration project in the government competition, is based at its existing plant at Longannet in Fife.
The aim is for machines to operate at the Fife power station to capture the carbon dioxide produced by using coal and storing it in porous rocks in the North Sea.
This would also be good news for the Scottish coal industry, whose sulphurous produce is currently considered too ungreen to be used in power plants.
Meanwhile, the plan also envisages using the same pipeline network that brings energy into the UK for sending the extracted carbon dioxide the other way - from central Scotland down to Teesside out to the North Sea.
Humberside and the Forth Valley are also being considered as key "emitting hubs" for the carbon dioxide.
Horler said ScottishPower could have a "post combustion, retrofittable demonstration project" up and running at Longannet by 2014.
The other two groups in the competition are E.on, which is looking at fitting carbon capture to part of its controversial new plant at Kingsnorth in Kent, and RWE Npower, which is planning a new plant at Tilbury in Essex.
The government's own estimates predict £100bln of investment is required to get CCS technology up and running - with latest forecasts from Ernst and Young valuing the generation requirement at nearer £164bn by 2025.
Horler added: "If our bid is successful, Iberdrola has already committed to make the UK the global centre of excellence for CCS development.
"Technological research, development, construction, trialing would all be based here in the UK, meaning the UK economy would benefit directly in terms of skilled employment, knowledge share and development of cutting-edge, high-technology support infrastructure."
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