UK to get its biggest carbon capture plant in 2021, trapping 22,000 cars worth of emissions

Government also signs law to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050

Olesya Dmitracova
Economics and Business Editor
Thursday 27 June 2019 13:23
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Smoke billows from a chimney at a combined-cycle gas turbine power plant
Smoke billows from a chimney at a combined-cycle gas turbine power plant

Tata Chemicals Europe plans to build Britain’s most powerful carbon capture plant by 2021, which will stop the equivalent of 22,000 cars worth of emissions a year rising into the atmosphere.

The plant will reduce TCE’s emissions as the company ramps up production of high-purity sodium bicarbonate. Liquid carbon dioxide is a key ingredient in high-grade sodium bicarbonate, which is used mainly in the pharmaceutical sector and for hemodialysis, a type of treatment for kidney failure.

“Global demand for this grade of sodium bicarbonate is growing as more of the world’s population has access to healthcare,” TCE said in a statement on Thursday announcing the plans. The project will help the company increase its exports, the statement added.

The plant will capture carbon dioxide from a gas-fired plant that supplies steam and power to the company’s operations in the town of Northwich in Cheshire and other industrial businesses in the area, cutting emissions by 11 per cent. The £16.7m project – which will trap 100 times more carbon dioxide than the UK’s current largest facility – will be supported by a £4.2m grant from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

“This innovative project from Tata Chemicals Europe represents a major milestone in efforts to roll out carbon capture at scale by the 2030s,” said the energy minister Chris Skidmore.

Also on Thursday, the government signed a law requiring the UK to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, meaning any emissions must be fully offset through measures such as planting trees and carbon capture.

Energy intensive industries, such as chemicals, cement and oil refining, are responsible for around a quarter of global emissions.

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