Drax Wins U.K. Funds for Carbon-Trapping Venture With Alstom

Drax Group Plc, Alstom SA and a unit of Linde AG won U.K. funds to advance with a venture to capture emissions from a coal-power plant in northern England.

The White Rose project will receive a “multimillion pound” contract for a two-year design and planning study, Energy Minister Michael Fallon said today in a statement. The 2 billion-pound ($3.3 billion) proposal will trap emissions from a 426-megawatt coal plant planned at the Drax site near Selby.

The funds promote a British program to spur carbon capture and storage, a 1 billion-pound initiative that appeared to falter when a first attempt failed in 2011. The U.K. wants a CCS industry by the 2020s to clean up fossil-fuel plants that generate baseload, or round the clock, power. Drax’s venture is the only CCS plan bidding in a separate European Union program.

“The White Rose project, with National Grid’s CO2 transport and storage infrastructure, really offers the potential to kickstart CCS in the region, creating up to 2,000 green jobs,” Energy Secretary Ed Davey said in a separate e-mailed statement. He today opened Drax’s coal-to-biomass conversion plant, an additional venture next to White Rose.

White Rose will provide enough power for 630,000 homes and trap 90 percent of the plant’s emissions for permanent storage in the North Sea. National Grid Carbon Ltd. will supply the transportation and storage infrastructure. The plant will have the ability to co-fire biomass, according to Drax.

Negotiations to fund a further study for the Peterhead CCS venture by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and SSE Plc, are “progressing positively” with an announcement due shortly, Fallon said. The government selected Drax’s White Rose and Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, as preferred bidders for the CCS program from eight proposals in March.

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