Agreement for Direct Air Capture plans at Port of Lowestoft
- Consortium led by Sizewell C awarded £3m by UK Government to construct a demonstrator DAC facility
- Sizewell C and ABP developing plans to locate the demonstrator DAC facility at the Port of Lowestoft
- Unique DAC process powered by low-carbon heat from nuclear, will drive down costs of the innovation
- Scaled-up DAC could have a big impact on reducing carbon emissions and reaching net zero targets.
Sizewell C and Associated British Ports (ABP) are developing plans to locate a unique Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility at the Port of Lowestoft, capable of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Direct Air Capture – a technology that uses chemical reactions to pull carbon dioxide out of the air, which can then be stored – could become a key technology for reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change.
The project at Lowestoft is designed to demonstrate a more efficient and innovative DAC process, which would be powered principally by heat.
Sizewell C and ABP have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to finalise the commercial arrangements to lease a site at Port of Lowestoft, and the planning permission to build the facility will be sought shortly.
If the demonstrator project is successful, a permanent full-scale DAC unit could then use heat generated from Sizewell C to extract CO2 from the air. The full-scale DAC facility would be located at a separate location to the power station, with the heat transported through underground pipes. Such facility could potentially capture 1.5m tonnes of CO2 each year. That is enough to almost offset the UK’s total emissions from railway transport.
The plans follow the UK Government’s decision to award £3m to Sizewell C and its partners (Birmingham University, Nottingham University, Helical, Atkins and Altrad Babcock) in 2022 as part of the Greenhouse Gas Removals competition, to develop this novel heat-assisted DAC technology.
All the engineering, design, construction and testing activities for the demonstrator unit will be carried out in the UK.
Sizewell C Director, Julia Pyke, said: “We are delighted to be developing plans with ABP to locate the demonstrator DAC facility at the Port of Lowestoft and to help drive net zero innovation in the East of England. DAC is one part of our plan to make Sizewell C a low-carbon hub, which will help kickstart other technologies and deliver even more value to our energy system.”
ABP’s Regional Director, Andrew Harston said:
“ABP’s Port of Lowestoft is delighted to host this demonstrator DAC project, which represents a great step forward in our shared goals of achieving net zero. The project aligns closely with ABP’s recently published strategy, to achieve Net Zero by 2040, as well as SZC’s focus on the production of clean, low-carbon energy. ABP plans to continue to support the development of Sizewell C and looks forward to both the DAC development and the construction at Sizewell commencing as soon as possible."
During phase 1 of the Greenhouse Gas Removals (GGR) competition, the consortium successfully completed a research and development project for heat-driven DAC. The current ongoing phase two of the GGR competition relates to the actual implementation and demonstration of the proposed solution.
Sizewell C DAC consortium partners:
- Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham which conduct internationally leading R&D of innovative carbon capture technologies;
- Helical which has extensive experience of the design and build of carbon capture and utilisation plants; and
- Atkins and Altrad Babcock which will apply their industrial engineering expertise to advise on the scalability of the technology for future integration at Sizewell C.
More information about Sizewell C can be found at edfenergy.com/sizewellc.
About ABP (www.abports.co.uk)
ABP, the UK’s leading ports group, with 21 ports and other transport related businesses, creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo. ABP contributes £7.5 billion to the UK economy every year and supports over 119,000 jobs. Find out more about ABP’s sustainability strategy, ABP Ready for Tomorrow, which sets out plans to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions from their own operations by 2040. Find out more: abp-ready-for-tomorrow.pdf (abports.co.uk)