UK’s Drax signs deal with Mitsubishi for negative-emissions capture technology

A woman walks past Drax Power Station with a dog during sunset in Drax, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom on November 27, 2020. REUTERS / Lee Smith

Drax group (DRX.L) has signed a long-term contract for the CO2 capture technology with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). (7011.T)which paves the way for negative emissions from its UK plant by 2030, the companies announced on Thursday.

By using MHI’s carbon capture solvent in its biomass-fired power plant, Drax could ultimately remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than is emitted throughout the operation.

In order to meet the Paris climate target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, carbon elimination must begin as soon as possible, Drax chief Will Gardiner told Reuters.

“Over time, this becomes not just a climate imperative, but a very big business opportunity,” he added.

The project also supports thousands of jobs, with MHI planning to base its core carbon capture and storage team at the company’s European headquarters in London, the companies said.

The financial position for carbon capture and storage bioenergy (BECCS) is improving amid firmer prices for UK electricity and carbon permits, but a government support mechanism would be needed for unique projects, Gardiner said.

“We consider the Offshore Wind Contracts for Difference (CfD) model to be very good,” he added, emphasizing the security of income from such a guaranteed price.

Under the right regulatory framework, the first BECCS unit in Drax could be operational as early as 2027 and a second in 2029, capturing and storing at least 8 million tons of CO2 per year, Gardiner said.

Earlier this month, Drax also announced a collaboration with the US engineering company Bechtel to identify opportunities for BECCS power plants to be deployed around the world. Continue reading

The technology is currently being tested by other conglomerates in Scandinavia, but on a smaller scale.

Drax aims to become carbon negative in its operations by 2030

The UK government has set itself the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 78% by 2035. In November she will host the UN climate summit COP26 in Glasgow.

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