D-Day for ‘carbon capture’ plans after months of delays

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MINISTERS will today reveal whether two “clean coal” power projects in Yorkshire have been successful in bids to win hundreds of millions of pounds of funding from the EU and Whitehall.

The Yorkshire Post has learned that, after many months of delays, the Government will finally reveal this morning which carbon capture and storage (CCS) schemes are to be put forward for massive cash grants from Brussels.

The decision will have enormous repercussions for Yorkshire, which is widely seen as one of the best places in the world to trial fledgling CCS technology due to its large cluster of heavily-polluting industries, and its proximity to depleted North Sea oil and gas fields where harmful CO2 could potentially be stored. Planners believe that if the UK’s first CCS projects are established in Yorkshire, they could form the first part of a wider network using a shared underground pipeline to collect carbon emissions from locations across the region.

A Yorkshire-wide CCS project has the potential to create thousands of new jobs and secure the future of the region’s heavy industries for decades to come. However, the first projects will be vastly expensive, and are likely to require significant state funding.

The EU is offering grants of around £240m to a number of schemes across Europe, but is demanding match-funding from national governments. It is understood the UK government, which has set aside £1bn to support up to four demonstration CCS projects, has chosen two bidders to be put forward for EU grants.

The hot favourite is a proposed “clean coal” power station at Hatfield Colliery, near Doncaster, which was rated the best scheme in Europe earlier this year.

Also in the running are projects at Drax power station, near Selby, and on Teesside.