The UK Government has launched the next step in its bid to deliver carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) at two industrial clusters by the mid-2020s.
After announcing the first two CCUS clusters to be chosen last month as part of its £1billion competition, the East Coast Cluster and HyNet, “Phase 2” of the Track 1 process has now been launched.
Phase 2 seeks sign up from all projects which seek to be part of the Track 1 clusters, as well as those which might be eligible to join who have not done so.
It is open to power, industrial or hydrogen production projects which could feasibly connect to them.
The announcement last month omitted the Scottish Cluster, led by the Acorn project which would use CCUS to capture emissions from the Grangemouth Ineos refinery as part of its cluster plan, instead chosen as a “reserve cluster”.
It left huge political uproar in Scotland, with businesses leaders including Sir Ian Wood and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling for it to be reversed.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said it would “continue to engage with the Scottish Cluster” throughout Phase 2 to ensure it can continue its development and planning, and that those seeking to be part of that cluster can apply during this phase.
“This means that if government chooses to discontinue engagement with a cluster in Track-1, we can engage with this reserve cluster instead”, it said.
Emitters included in a Phase 1 cluster plan have first opportunity to negotiate with the government, but standalone emitters not part of that plan are being encouraged to apply.
Under the government’s 10 Point Plan, four clusters are aimed to be up and running by 2030, with Westminster to invest up to £1billion.
A timeline for Track 2, which will select the next two clusters, has not been disclosed.