UK’s largest carbon capture project to prevent equivalent of 22,000 cars’ emissions from polluting the atmosphere from 2021

  • £26 million awarded to accelerate rollout of carbon capture and storage as UK moves to a net zero emissions economy
  • 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide – 100 times more than the UK’s current largest facility – to be captured each year at Tata Chemicals Europe in Cheshire
  • emissions reduction is equivalent to 22,000 fewer cars on the road

The UK’s largest carbon capture project to date, removing 40,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year, could be up and running by as soon as 2021 thanks to government backing.

9 companies have secured £26 million of government funding, in addition to industry backing, to advance the rollout of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) in the UK – a crucial step towards the UK’s net zero emissions and the end of the UK’s contribution to global warming. It is the next milestone for the government’s ambition for the UK to be a world-leader in the field as laid out in the Clean Growth Strategy and last November’s CCUSAction Plan.

Today’s awards will be announced by Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore on a visit to Tata Chemicals Europe’s plant in Winnington, Cheshire. The plant, which is the UK’s only manufacturer of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate, is being awarded £4.2 million toward the construction of a facility to capture and utilise 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – the equivalent of 22,000 cars.

When fully operational in 2021 it will be the largest carbon capture plant in the UK, removing 100 times more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than the country’s current largest facility.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore said:

Carbon capture, usage and storage has an essential role to play in our efforts to tackle climate change, helping us to meet our ambition to end our contribution to global warming entirely by 2050.

If we are to become a net zero emissions economy and end our contribution towards global warming, then innovative schemes like Tata Chemicals’ will be essential. Their plans demonstrate the enormous potential that CCUS has, reducing our emissions and helping companies to innovate and export products all around the world.

The funding the government is awarding today puts the UK at the forefront of the rollout of this technology and demonstrates how our Clean Growth Strategy is delivering for all parts of the country.

8 more projects are being awarded between £170,000 and £7 million as part of 2 programmes – the £20 million Carbon Capture and Utilisation programme (CCUD) and the £24 million Call for CCUS Innovation programme.

Energy-intensive industries currently produce approximately 24% of global emissions. This potentially vital technology captures carbon from power stations and carbon heavy industries such as cement, chemicals, steel, and oil refining. Then, before it even enters the air, it can either be used for industrial purposes like manufacturing concrete or can be stored safely underground, reducing pollution and helping to tackle climate change.

Last November the government released its Carbon Capture Usage and Storage Deployment Pathway, setting out the next steps government and industry should take in partnership in order to achieve the government’s ambition of having the option to deploy CCUS at scale during the 2030s, subject to costs coming down sufficiently.

Today’s announcement also builds on the government’s commitment for the first net-zero carbon cluster of industry by 2040 backed by up to £170 million funding to cut emissions.

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