Drax Group, Equinor and National Grid Ventures will explore the potential for a large-scale carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) network and a hydrogen production facility to be built in the Humber region of England by the mid-2020s.
The three signed a memorandum of understanding to explore possible opportunities to scale-up a trial carbon capture and storage project at Drax, and in so-doing, create the world’s first carbon negative power station within the next ten years.
The partners will also explore potential development of a large-scale hydrogen demonstrator at the Drax site by the mid-2020s as well as other strategic economic opportunities for hydrogen in the region.
Drax Group chief executive Will Gardiner said: “The Committee on Climate Change was clear – the UK needs both bioenergy with CCS and hydrogen production at scale by 2030 to achieve a ‘net zero’ carbon economy.
“This partnership is committed to meeting this challenge putting Great Britain at the heart of the global energy revolution.
“With Drax’s carbon negative power station, the Humber region could lead the world in new technologies that can deliver for the climate and the economy, helping to create a cleaner environment for future generations whilst creating new jobs and export opportunities for British businesses
“We’re excited to be working with National Grid Ventures and Equinor on this project – for decades the Humber has been a strategically important industrial cluster for the UK – it has the skills, industrial capability as well as offshore storage to transform itself into a cutting-edge low carbon hub.”
Equinor executive vice president for marketing, midstream and processing Irene Rummelhoff said: “As a global leader in CCS and a major gas supplier to the UK for many decades, we are committed to helping shape sustainable solutions for a low carbon future.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Drax and National Grid Ventures in looking at how the Humber region can be a launch pad for wider decarbonisation in the UK economy and be an example for others to learn from.
“Globally we must see substantial decarbonisation of industry and energy in the years ahead, and we believe CCS and hydrogen must play a significant role in this.”
National Grid Ventures chief operating officer, global transmission Jon Butterworth said: “We all agree that we must act now to start delivering a ‘net-zero’ carbon economy.
“That’s why we’re delighted to be working together with Equinor and Drax on a project of such great potential for the UK and the Humber region and leveraging our skills and expertise to enable this transition
“We have seen rapid progress in decarbonising energy through established technologies such as wind power, solar and electricity interconnectors.
“CCUS and hydrogen create a new pathway to greater decarbonisation of the energy system and provide the platform for decarbonising our other areas of our economy which will be to the benefit of current and future generations.”