Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, visited Longannet Power Station in Fife today (Wednesday 12th January) to see ScottishPower’s prototype carbon capture facility – the only such device ever to operate on a coal-fired power station in the UK.
The carbon capture unit has been in operation at Longannet since May 2009. In this time, through a wide range of tests, it has provided significant data that will help to improve the complex science involved in capturing carbon emissions from the process of generating electricity from fossil fuels. This data could reduce costs associated with the process, helping to develop the whole carbon capture concept.
A ScottishPower-led consortium which includes Shell and National Grid is also currently working on detailed plans for a commercial scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project that would be based at Longannet. The consortium is the last remaining entrant in a UK Government Competition to fund a commercial scale CCS scheme. A detailed technical study will be submitted to the Government in the coming months and a funding decision will be made after the study is considered.
John Campbell, Director of Energy Wholesale at ScottishPower, said: “The carbon capture unit has been a major success and we were delighted to welcome Chris Huhne MP to Longannet to see the device in operation. The Government has expressed their commitment to develop CCS technology in the UK, and prototype projects such as this will help to advance the overall concept and feasibility of larger scale CCS schemes.”
Secretary of State Chris Huhne MP said: “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to come and see the carbon capture and storage testing facility at Longannet for myself. CCS has a key part to play in ensuring that we can keep the lights on at the same time as fighting climate change.
"The International Energy Agency has estimated that globally 3,400 CCS plants will be needed by 2050 if we are to meet our critical target of 2 degrees below pre-industrial levels. The UK has the skills and opportunity to lead the world in this technology, which is why in the spending review we committed to investing up to a billion pounds in CCS."
Notes to Editors:
- The CCS competition was launched in late 2007 to encourage energy companies to develop commercially viable CCS schemes. There were originally nine entrants. The ScottishPower-led consortium entry is the last remaining bid.
- The consortium is currently working on a detailed Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study. This will be submitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the coming months, a funding decision will be made after considering the study.
- The commercial scale project at Longannet would reduce CO2 emissions by 90% from one 300MW unit at ScottishPower’s coal-fired plant. That would be equivalent to taking one million cars off the road.
- ScottishPower is the only energy company in the UK which is capturing carbon on a working coal-fired power station. This programme is helping to prove the chemistry of carbon capture and uses the same technology that can be retrofitted to the tens of thousands of coal-fired power stations worldwide.
Longannet Power Station Facts:
- The station is located on the banks of the Firth of Forth, on 89 hectares of land (or 89,000m2)
- First opened in 1969 – it was fully operational from 1973.
- It operates four 600-megawatt (MW) turbines, and has a net output of 2,304MW of electricity, which is enough to keep the lights on in 2 million UK homes.
- It is the second largest coal power station in the UK, and third largest in Europe.
Media Information: Simon McMillan 0141 566 4875 / 07753 622 257