Drax partners with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering on BECCS pilot project

Drax Group has partnered with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHI), part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group, on a new bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project at its power station in North Yorkshire.

The project, testing MHI’s carbon capture technology, is set to begin in the autumn and marks another step in Drax’s quest to become carbon negative by 2030. MHI’s 12-month pilot will capture around 300kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day, to confirm its technology’s sustainability for use with biomass flue gases at Drax Power Station.

Implementing BECCS at Drax could deliver 16 million tonnes of negative emissions a year, according to the company, amounting to a third of the negative emissions the UK needs from BECCS to reach its zero-carbon targets by 2050.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “Our plans to develop ground-breaking BECCS at the power station in North Yorkshire will help boost the UK’s economy following the COVID-19 crisis and support the development of a zero-carbon industrial cluster in the Humber region – delivering clean growth and protecting thousands of jobs.

“We’re very pleased to be working with MHI on this exciting pilot which will further our understanding of the potential of deploying BECCS at scale at Drax, taking us closer to achieving our world-leading ambition to be a carbon-negative company by 2030.”

Two of MHI’s proprietary solvents will be tested during the project, one of which (KS-1TM Solvent) is already being used at 13 commercial plants delivered by MHI, including Petra Nova in Texas, US, the world’s largest post-combustion carbon capture facility, capturing 1.4 million tonnes of CO2 every year. The other is the newly-developed KS-21TM Solvent, designed to achieve ‘significant’ performance improvements and cost savings.

“We are very proud to be a part of the BECCS pilot project with Drax,” said Kenji Terasawa, president and CEO of MHI. “We firmly believe that our carbon capture technology would be able to contribute to the UK’s zero-carbon targets in a material way.”

Nigel Adams MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development, commented: “This is an exciting collaboration between Drax and MHI, which has the potential to further the development of technology to help the UK achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and contribute to the post-COVID economic recovery.”

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