MINisters will be urged to back a world-leading project that could create thousands of jobs and kickstart a new industry for Yorkshire as it enters a critical phase.
The companies behind the White Rose ‘clean coal’ project have confirmed it has taken a major step forward with plans presented to an independent planning inspector.
They will make a recommendation to the Energy Secretary who will decide whether it should be allowed to be built on land at the Drax power station near Selby.
Separately, Ministers could also decide next year whether White Rose will receive all or a share of £1 billion the Government has made available to help develop the carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry.
The White Rose Project involves the building of a hi-tech coal-fired power station where harmful gases are captured and stored under the North Sea.
On its own, the power station could create hundreds of jobs and power more than 600,000 homes.
But the real significance of the project is in its potential to help establish a network of pipelines across the region to transport greenhouse gases for storage making Yorkshire a hugely attractive place for industry to invest.
It would also be one of the first large scale power plants of its type in the world, positioning Yorkshire as a leading player in this new technology.
White Rose is being developed by Drax working with Alstom and BOC in a consortium known as Capture Power.
Capture Power chief executive Leigh Hackett said: “We are pleased to have reached such an important milestone in the White Rose CCS Project.
“Much work has already been undertaken to get us this far, including an extensive consultation exercise with the local community and a technical consultation on issues such as visual impact, ecology, noise, traffic and air quality.
“The results of the consultation have been very positive and we are particularly pleased by the support we have received from the local community.”
Momentum is growing behind the White Rose Project after it secured around £240 million in European Union funding earlier this year.
Yorkshire MEP Linda McAvan, who played a leading role in lobbying the EU for the funding, said: “The part EU-funded CCS project at Drax will be the first in Europe and has the potential to bring massive investment to our region, as well as cleaning up our energy production.
“This move forward takes us one step closer to bringing this world leading technology online, and much needed jobs for Yorkshire.”
MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee last year called on Ministers to “fast track” decisions on whether White Rose and a second CCS project in Peterhead, in Scotland, should be given Government funding.
The process began under the last Government in 2007 but has been beset by delays.