Government names carbon capture and storage bidders

The four bidders that have pre-qualified in the UK Government's carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration competition have been named by Business Secretary John Hutton.

Hutton also announced publication of a consultation on the legislative framework for CCS, including carbon capture readiness.

Proposals in the consultation document are designed to create a more consistent understanding of what this means across the EU. The proposals mean that the carbon capture readiness of new combustion power stations will have to be addressed by developers in the design process and taken into account by the government in deciding whether or not to consent to such stations.

CCS has the potential to capture up to 90 per cent of damaging carbon emissions from coal-fired power stations. The steps that we are taking to prepare for and support the deployment of CCS technologies are part of a wider strategy to reduce emissions from electricity generation – which include the expansion of renewable energy, a decision to allow investment in nuclear new build and capping emissions from the power sector through the EU ETS.

BP Alternative Energy International Limited, EON UK Plc, Peel Power Limited and Scottish Power Generation Limited were selected from nine contenders based on their responses to the pre-qualification questionnaire, submitted to the Department for Business at the end of March.

Discussions in the next phase of the competition between the government and the four bidders will cover technical, commercial, contractual and financial issues. The project continues to be on course to be operational by 2014 – making the UK one of the first countries in the world to demonstrate CCS on a commercial-scale.

Energy Secretary John Hutton said: "Alongside nuclear, renewables and gas, coal is – and will continue to be – a feature of the UK's electricity mix. The progress we are making with the CCS demonstration competition and on developing a sound legislative and regulatory framework will help to deliver our ambition to see CCS ready for commercial deployment by 2020. We have received an excellent response from industry to this competition – indicating its commitment to the clean energy agenda.

"We cannot deliver wide-scale deployment of CCS, nor tackle global climate change, alone. We need greater international collaboration and will continue to urge other countries to demonstrate a similar level of commitment to demonstrating CCS as the UK. We must ensure CCS is recognised in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the Clean Development Mechanism, and have been pushing hard for it to be high on the agenda at the forthcoming G8 Leaders meeting."

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