Funding cut deals final blow to Yorkshire carbon capture scheme

Plans for 448MW electricity generating station in North Yorkshire with carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities have been refused by energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd over funding concerns following a government decision to axe financial assistance for CCS projects.

Amber Rudd: refused plans for electricity energy station in North Yorkshire
Amber Rudd: refused plans for electricity energy station in North Yorkshire

The White Rose Carbon Capture and Storage project, brought forward by energy developer Capture Power Limited, was planned for a site next to the existing Drax Power Station site near Selby, North Yorkshire.

A Development Consent Order had been sought for the construction and operation of the scheme which would have been coal-fired or coal and biomass-fired.

A decision letter issued on behalf of energy secretary Amber Rudd said the project would have had carbon capture and storage facilities fitted to capture the majority of the plant's CO2 emissions which would have been transported via pipelines for storage beneath the North Sea.

According to the decision letter, an inspector said that the development would need funding support from the government’s CCS Commercialisation Programme, which aimed to support the design, construction and operation of the UK’s first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage projects.

However, the letter said that it was confirmed in November last year following the chancellor’s Autumn Statement that the £1 billion ring-fenced capital budget for the CCS competition would no longer be available.

It added that Rudd wrote to the applicant in February to find out how funding for the exercise of compulsory acquisition powers would be obtained in light of the withdrawal of government funding.

The applicant had said in its response that "if a development consent order was made in respect of the White Rose CCS project, the applicant would currently have insufficient funds to allow it to develop the White Rose CCS project and nor has the applicant identified any potential alternative sources from which sufficient funds may be available".

The decision letter concluded: "Given the problem of funding the construction and operation of the development, the secretary of state considers that development consent should not be granted for the development on the grounds that there is no available funding and no prospect of funding being provided."  

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