YORKSHIRE’S ambition to be the UK’s carbon capture capital is to take a major step forward after National Grid unveiled plans to start test drilling off the region’s coast.
National Grid has agreed a deal with the Crown Estate, the body responsible for the sea bed, which will see a test well drilled around 70km off Flamborough Head.
The company is developing plans for a pipeline through Yorkshire to transport harmful gases blamed for climate change to the North Sea where they can be stored under the sea bed.
The pipeline would initially be connected to the White Rose Project, a new coal-fired power station planned for the Drax site near Selby and another at Hatfield, known as the Don Valley Power Project.
Jim Ward, head of carbon capture and storage at National Grid, said: “Our work to date has confirmed that the site is very large and capable of storing carbon dioxide from both power generation and industrial sources, including the Don Valley Power Project and the White Rose Project.
“The site is close to the shore, and importantly, near to the UK’s largest clusters of carbon dioxide emitters, making it the ideal location to safely and permanently store carbon dioxide. The drilling will confirm the extent to which the site is capable of storing CO2 from regional power stations and industrial sites.”
It is hoped that the pipeline could in time be connected to a range of industrial sites across the region and make Yorkshire more attractive for heavy industry as it comes under pressure to reduce its environmental impact.
Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith said: “This agreement and further commitment represents a major step forward in the creation of a carbon capture and storage industry in Yorkshire and the Humber, which could represent the first of its kind in the UK.
“The work which National Grid is pioneering has the potential to create thousands of new jobs during construction while the impact of developing this cluster in the region could be worth more than a billion pounds and secure many jobs in the local and regional supply chain in the future.”
The scheme was dealt a blow last year when the Government decided not to shortlist the Don Valley Power Project in its competition for £1bn to help develop carbon capture and storage.
2Co Energy, the company behind the scheme, has said it cannot take the project forward without further support from the Government.
The White Rose Project was among those shortlisted.