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UK: Engineering Drax and Mitsubishi to Build New BECCS Pilot Unit in the UK

| Editor: Ahlam Rais

Drax Group and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will establish the new bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot plant at Drax’s Power Station in the UK. The project will enable MHI to test its carbon capture technology and also contribute to the UK's zero carbon targets.

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Flue gas desulphurisation unit at the Drax Power Station. The massive pipes could transport over 90 % of the CO2 captured by the BECCS unit and deliver negative emissions.
Flue gas desulphurisation unit at the Drax Power Station. The massive pipes could transport over 90 % of the CO2 captured by the BECCS unit and deliver negative emissions.
(Source: Drax)

UK – Drax Group and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group (MHI), have agreed to develop a new bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project at the Drax Power Station this autumn.

The pilot will test MHI's carbon capture technology - marking another step on Drax's journey towards achieving its world-leading ambition to be a carbon negative company by 2030. MHI's 12-month pilot will capture around 300 kg of CO2 a day for the purpose of confirming its technology's suitability for use with biomass flue gases at Drax.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: "Our plans to develop a ground-breaking BECCS plant at the power station in North Yorkshire will help to boost the UK's economy following the Covid 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 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on this exciting pilot which will increase our understanding of the potential for deploying the BECCS unit at scale at Drax - taking us closer to achieving our world-leading ambition to be a carbon negative company by 2030."

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

Kenji Terasawa, President & CEO, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, said: "We are very proud to be a part of the BECCS pilot project with Drax. We firmly believe that our carbon capture technology would be able to contribute to the UK's zero carbon targets in a material way."

Implementing the BECCS unit at Drax could deliver 16 million tonnes of negative emissions a year - a third of the negative emissions the UK needs from the BECCS plant to reach its zero carbon targets by 2050 and anchor a zero carbon industrial cluster in the Humber region, delivering clean growth whilst protecting 55,000 jobs.

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

MHI aims to continue reducing greenhouse gases globally by providing reliable and economically feasible carbon capture technology, supported by research and development activity over 30 years and commercial records around the world.

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