Energy company abandons carbon capture project

The energy firm Drax has announced it is withdrawing from the White Rose CCS carbon capture project.

The company said it will not be investing any more in the project to capture carbon emissions from a new coal fire power station in Yorkshire once its current work on the scheme has been completed.

But in a statement, the company said it will continue to make the site, which is owned by Drax, along with the infrastructure at the power plant, available for the project to be built.

“We are confident the technology we have developed has real potential, but have reluctantly taken a decision not to invest any further in the development of this project,” said Drax Group Operations Director, and Capture Power Board Director, Pete Emery.  

“The decision is based purely on a drastically different financial and regulatory environment and we must put the interests of the business and our shareholders first.

“We will focus our resources on the areas which we can deliver best value, particularly working with Government to explore the potential for converting a fourth generating unit to run on sustainable biomass,” added Mr Emery.

If successful, the project would be the world’s first commercial scale, full chain, carbon capture and storage coal-fired power plant.

It will now be taken forward by the Capture Power partnership.

“Drax’s decision not to invest further in the Project is disappointing, but we are keen to confirm that Capture Power remains committed to delivering the White Rose CCS Project,” said Capture Power Chief Executive, Leigh Hackett.

“We can also confirm that we continue to work constructively with Drax on land, site services and shared infrastructure aspects to support the Project’s delivery.

“We are now well over halfway through the FEED study and we are progressing towards receiving development consent. The final investment decision for White Rose will be dependent on successful outcomes of the FEED study, funding arrangements and the proposed Contract for Difference market mechanism designed specifically to encourage investment in new, low carbon generation.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues