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Carbon capture and storage for UK’s largest waste-to-energy site

Decarbonising the Ferrybridge 1 and 2 facilities has been deemed a ‘Project of National Significance’ by the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Located in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, the UK’s largest waste-to-energy site currently transforms 1.4million tonnes of unrecyclable waste into domestically produced power, enough for around 350,000 homes per year. 

The operator, enfinium, has already announced an ambitious plan to lead on an £800million investment over the project’s full lifecycle to deploy carbon capture and storage (CCS) on-site. If successfully implemented, this could prevent 1.2million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions entering the atmosphere annually, including more than 600,000 tonnes of durable, high quality carbon removals. This is equivalent to cutting the greenhouse gas output of every household in Manchester.

On 20th February, the UK Government confirmed that a Section 35 direction has been made, which is a crucial step in the planning and consenting programme for the Ferrybridge CCS project. Statutory consultation will begin later this year, with a full application for Development Consent to the Planning Inspectorate then due late 2025.

According to the Secretary of State, the proposal ‘would provide and support the decarbonisation of the largest energy from waste site in the UK, with the potential to deliver over a million tonnes of CO2 savings per annum, equating to 6.5% of the government’s annual carbon capture and storage ambition.’

‘This designation is an important step in realising our ambition to turn Ferrybridge into one of Europe’s biggest carbon removal projects. Carbon capture at Ferrybridge will deliver jobs in the green economy, decarbonise unrecyclable waste produced across the North of England and support West Yorkshire’s plans to have a Net Zero economy by 2038,’ added Mike Maudsley, CEO of enfinium. 

The West Yorkshire CCS proposal marks a significant moment in the UK’s wider plans for rolling out this technology, which has been met with criticism from some corners of the science, policy and environmental communities due to the lack of evidence these systems can work at the scale needed in order for Britain’s current net zero plans to be successful. Last week, the High Court was told by Lord Deben, a Conservative Party peer and former chairman of the Climate Change Committee, that Downing Street’s current roadmap was unsuitable because it assumes that ‘everything will go right‘.

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Image: enfinium 

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