Bechtel, Drax to explore global BECCS opportunities

Bechtel has partnered with Drax to identify opportunities to build new bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) plants worldwide.

Scaling up BECCS sustainably over the coming decades will be critical to delivering the Paris Agreement climate targets and keeping the world on a pathway of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, said the companies.

Bechtel, a major engineering, construction and project management firm, will also work with Drax, which owns a major biomass plant in North Yorkshire, UK, to identify how the design of a new build BECCS plant can be optimised using the latest technology and best practice in engineering design.

Analysis by independent experts including the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency has identified that BECCS and other technologies that can remove emissions from the atmosphere will need to be developed worldwide to limit global warming.

Bechtel will focus its study on strategically important regions for new build BECCS facilities, including North America and Western Europe, as well as reviewing how to optimise the design of a BECCS plant using state-of-the-art engineering to maximise efficiency, performance, and cost.

“Technological advancements have created new opportunities to improve how we bring power to communities worldwide,” said Jamie Cochrane, Bechtel’s manager of energy transition.

“We are resolved to work with our customers on projects that deliver effective ways to contribute to a clean energy future.

“Tackling the big global challenges related to climate change is key to meeting aggressive environmental targets and we are proud to partner with Drax to optimise design and explore locations for the new generation of BECCS facilities.”

Jason Shipstone, Drax Group’s chief innovation officer, commented: “Negative emissions technologies such as BECCS are crucial in tackling the global climate crisis and at Drax, we’re planning to retrofit this to our UK power station, demonstrating global climate leadership in the transformation of a former coal-fired power station.

“We’re interested in potential opportunities for exporting BECCS overseas, where Drax could help other countries take positive action to address the climate crisis and meet the Paris climate commitments by using innovative carbon capture technology to permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere.”

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