Carbon capture, usage and storage

CCUS decarbonises the UK economy with technologies that capture carbon dioxide and store it deep underground where it cannot enter the atmosphere.

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Carbon Capture, Usage & Storage (CCUS) is a necessity in delivering the UK’s target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and to supporting a greener economy.

The UK will establish CCUS in two industrial clusters by mid-2020s and aim for 4 of these sites by 2030 at the latest, with ambition to capture and store 10 megatonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2030.

The UK has a global leading geological advantage – having one of the greatest CO2 storage potentials of any country in the world - the UK Continental Shelf, accounting for approximately 85% of Europe’s CO2 storage potential and which can safely store 78 billion tonnes of CO2.

Opportunity highlights

CCUS can support a rapid scaling-up of low-carbon hydrogen production to meet demand from new applications in transport, industry and buildings, and cleaner blue hydrogen is a key driver of the UK market. Working alongside partners in industry, the UK’s aim is to develop 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

The CCUS Roadmap also sets out how government and industry can work together to harness the power of a strong, industrialised UK CCUS supply chain, while ensuring the CCUS sector remains investible, cost effective and focused on delivery. It is organised across four cross-cutting activities: supply chain mapping, capability development, skills and innovation, and finance and trade.

By putting the UK at the forefront of global CCUS development, investors can trial and deploy their CCUS solutions in a stable environment, with a risk balance between private and public sectors. This can lead to servicing world demand as activity ramps-up.

Commercial maturity

CCUS has yet to be deployed at scale in complex industrial clusters anywhere in the world. This represents an exciting strategic endeavor for the UK and its supply chain. Analysis commissioned by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) suggests that the global market could be worth £260 billion by 2050.

The UK aims to establish CCUS in 4 industrial clusters by 2030, creating ‘SuperPlaces’ in areas such as the North East, the Humber, North West, Scotland and Wales. This will help deliver a stronger, greener UK and provide new economic opportunities for UK-based companies across the world.

Key UK assets

Liverpool City region

Assets include existing SMR and electrolyser production facilities. Early-stage opportunities include the LCR Hydrogen Bus project and HyNet blue hydrogen production.

Grangemouth

Existing pipelines connect the major industrial hub that connects Scotland to mainland Europe, with early-stage investment opportunities at the power station for CCS in Peterhead.

Solent

Assets include H2 Research and Refuelling Station. The hydrogen super-hub in the port of Southampton is an early-stage investment opportunity.

Wales

Assets include Energy Kingdom at Milford Haven (blue hydrogen) and energy hub at Holyhead. Early-stage investment opportunities include the Hydrogen Highway and ports infrastructure.

Tees Valley

Assets include existing underground hydrogen storage and Teesside Freeport. Early-stage investment opportunities include a first-of-its-kind hydrogen transport hub at Tees Valley.

Humber

Assets include empty gas and salt caverns for hydrogen storage and Equinor’s H2H Saltend. Early-stage investment opportunities include shared hydrogen pipeline and Green hydrogen projects such as Gigastack.

R&D capability

A £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio will invest in 10 priority areas, including hydrogen, floating offshore wind, advanced modular nuclear reactors, energy storage solutions and CCUS solutions.

Up to £100 million of funding will be available to research and develop direct air capture (DAC) technology and other greenhouse gas removal technologies.

The UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC) is also supporting the UK’s net zero emissions targets. It has more than 300 academic members collaborating with CCS organisations across the world to drive innovation in CCUS.

Business and government support

The CCS Infrastructure Fund (CIF) represents £1 billion of investment in CCUS in the UK and is an important element of the government’s support in an emerging sector with significant potential.

Proposed commercial frameworks for business models have been published that apply to transport and storage, power and industrial carbon capture. The models will enable and support stable investment in UK CCUS projects.

Alongside the new business models for CCUS, the UK will build on its global reputation for regulatory stability and transparency by establishing independent economic regulation for CO2 T&S networks, enabling investors to earn a fair return under a predictable and stable framework.

Case Studies

Carbon Clean

Carbon Clean is a global leader in cost-effective CO2 capture technology and services for industrial emitters.

UK government funding of £5 million has accelerated the commercialisation of its technology, which is now installed at 38 facilities globally.

Carbon Clean has been selected to provide its technology to the ACORN project in Aberdeenshire, one of the most mature carbon capture and storage projects in the UK.

Early development opportunities

Acorn

Developer: Storegga

Technology: CCS and hydrogen

Location: Northeast Scotland

Opportunity and background

Acorn CCS is a carbon capture and storage project designed to overcome the high capital costs in starting CCS deployment. Based at the St Fergus Gas Terminal in northeast Scotland, it can repurpose gas pipelines to take about 300,000 tonnes per year of CO2 to the Acorn storage site.

Acorn Hydrogen can take natural gas and reform it to clean burning hydrogen with the CO2 emissions safely removed and stored.

The first phase offers a low capital-cost start, delivered by the mid-2020s, establishing the critical CO2 transport and storage infrastructure. The first Acorn Hydrogen plant can be online in 2025.

East Coast Cluster

Developer: Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), BP leading as operator

Technology: CCS

Location: Teesside and the Humber

Opportunity and background

NEP is bidding to develop infrastructure to transport CO2 from emitters across the Humber and Teesside to secure North Sea storage.

Net Zero Teesside (NZT) aims to capture and store up to 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Proposals include NZT Power, the UK’s first commercial gas-fired power station with CCUS.

Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) is leading companies and organisations in a plan to decarbonise the UK’s largest industrial region. With its projects aiming to start up in the mid-2020s, ZCH aims to capture at least 17 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

HyNet North West

Developer: ENI/ Progressive Energy

Technology: CCS and hydrogen

Location: Northwest England and North Wales

Opportunity and background

HyNet will capture CO2 from industrial premises in the Ince and Stanlow area, and from the low-carbon hydrogen production plant at Stanlow. It will be sent safely by underground pipeline to the depleted gas fields in Liverpool Bay, 1km below the seabed and 32km offshore.

As part of the project HyNet will build a low-carbon hydrogen production plant. The hydrogen produced will be used in the region’s industry, transport, homes and businesses. The North West has an established skills base for hydrogen production and handling.

Overall, HyNet will provide some 50% of the total hydrogen needed to meet the UK’s net zero targets.

V Net Zero

Developer: Chrysaor

Technology: CCS

Location: Humberside

Opportunity and background

Chrysaor has submitted a Licence Application for the purpose of storing CO2 and in parallel will seek agreement for a Storage Lease with The Crown Estate for the purpose of storing CO2 in a depleted Southern North Sea gas reservoir. These applications are in support of the V Net Zero Project, which aims to store and transport CO2 from the Immingham cluster on Humberside. The capture, compression and conditioning of the CO2 will be completed by the Humber Zero Project, a coalition of industry partners including Vitol and Philips 66. The projects offers CO2 storage sites at scale to Humber Zero and other emitters in the wider industrial cluster.

DelpHYnus

Developer: Neptune Energy

Technology: CCS

Location: South Humber

Opportunity and background

The DelpHYnus proposal is for a combined development comprising of a CO2 transport and storage solution serving the South Humber Industrial area, together with production facilities for lower carbon (blue) hydrogen, at the former Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal site. The 1.8GW hydrogen production plant would be capable of meeting 36% of the UK’s 5GW target for hydrogen production capacity by 2030. Importantly, a differentiator is the planned repurposing of the existing CMS pipeline, which, if feasible, would reduce development costs and accelerate the project schedule. The potential to connect DelpHYnus with the L10 Carbon Capture and Storage development in the Netherlands, through NGT, is also being examined.

South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC)

Developer: Costain

Technology: CCS

Location: South Wales

Opportunity and background

The project aims to increase energy efficiency and avoid carbon emissions while exploring opportunities for CCUS and low power generation to decarbonise industry in South Wales. Phase one of the SWIC deployment project involved completing initial assessments of decarbonisation schemes for projects in Port Talbot, Aberthaw and Milford Haven. Phase two opened the door to the UK government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge and the deployment was awarded funding to collaborate and find innovative solutions to reduce industrial emissions at sites across South Wales. SWIC is a diverse mix of industrial activities from the Pembrokeshire coastline to the Welsh/English border. The SWIC deployment project will create pathways and opportunities to promote Wales as a leading player in decarbonised and industrial growth.