A consortium led by ScottishPower has qualified as an entrant in the UK Government’s competition to develop Britain’s first commercial scale carbon-capture and storage (CCS) project.
The Department for Business will now be considering four project bids, down from an initial list of nine, with the eventual winner to receive £100million from the government for equipment to build a CCS plant.
The ScottishPower group’s members are Marathon Oil, Aker Clean Carbon and Aker Solutions, who will aim to display the required expertise and knowledge to develop a commercial scale CCS project that demonstrates the capture, transport and storage of carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power station.
In ScottishPower’s case that would be at its Longannet power station in Fife, with CO to be stored in a depleted North Sea oil or gas field.
ScottishPower’s John Campbell, director energy wholesale, said: “ScottishPower is committed to developing sustainable and secure energy supplies.
“We recognise that this is likely to require the continued use of fossil fuels from across the world and that CCS has a key role to play in minimising emissions of CO.
“Once CCS is demonstrated to work at a commercial scale, its potential for contributing to global greenhouse gas reductions is huge. The UK Government’s competition will play a crucial role in achieving this.”
The other competitors chosen are BP Alternative Energy International, EON UK and Peel Power, which will focus on coal-fired power stations in England and Wales.
A decision on the winner is expected next spring or summer.
Power-station operator Drax said yesterday soaring commodity prices would lead to better-than-expected full-year results.
The owner of Europe’s largest coal-fired power station is expecting underlying earnings to be modestly higher than the £400million pencilled in by analysts.
It said it was generating more power than usual in a historically lower-margin period, with profits buoyed by rocketing energy and commodity costs.
Last year Drax felt the impact of falling wholesale electricity costs but a doubling in the price of coal in its pre-tax profits, which fell 29% to £449 million.