Australian firm Worley appointed by Drax to provide the front-end engineering and design work on the first two carbon capture units at its Yorkshire biomass plant
Drax has announced the latest phase of its quest to install so-called 'negative emissions' technology at its biomass power plant in North Yorkshire, awarding a contract to Australian engineering firm Worley to provide the front-end engineering and design work on the first two carbon capture units at the facility.
The bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) system is designed to enable the power plant to generate electricity from biomass combustion, while also permanently removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than would be produced from burning the biomass feedstock. By capturing the CO2 emitted from burning biomass crops to create energy, before storing that carbon dioxide or using it for industrial processes, Drax aims to achieve negative emissions at the facility.
Worley's work will include developing the plant layout, cost estimation and schedules for the design, as well as detailed engineering, procurement and construction, it said, as well as exploring options to integrate the project into the existing Drax site at an industrial scale.
It follows Drax's announcement in June, when the firm touted plans to run another BECCS pilot in the autumn aimed at preventing around 300kg of CO2 from the North Yorkshire biomass plant from entering the atmosphere each day. The move comes in support of its target announced last December to become a 'carbon negative' company within 10 years.
"Through this project, we will be playing a key role in developing an exciting new carbon capture process scheme," said Vinayak Pai, the Worley Group's president for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. "This has the potential to be a game-changer in the fight against climate change."
It is the second BECCS system Drax is trialling at the power plant, having previously teamed up with Leeds firm C-Capture on a project which saw around one tonne of CO2 prevented from entering the atmosphere each day.
Drax is also working with Equinor and National Grid Ventures to develop plans for a large scale CCS system, which would provide storage capacity for the emissions captured on site.
The company estimates fully implementing BECCS technology at its Yorkshire power facility could deliver 16 million tonnes of negative emissions a year, which it claims would account for around a third of the negative emissions it expects the UK may require from BECCS to meet its 2050 net zero target.
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