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National Grid announces major milestone for UK CCS programme

15 September 2013

Early indications are that the undersea site 65 kilometres off the Yorkshire coast is viable for carbon dioxide storage and will be able to hold around 200 million tonnes permanently, National Grid said in August. This is equivalent to taking ten million cars off the road for 10 years.

The Humber CCS project involves piping CO2 from energy producers to a saline structure in the North Sea
The Humber CCS project involves piping CO2 from energy producers to a saline structure in the North Sea

The drilling is a major milestone in its Don Valley storage work programme funded by an EU grant to advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Europe. The findings are significant as this type of storage site is common in Europe.

Peter Boreham, National Grid’s director of European Business Development said: “Global energy demand is likely to double in the next twenty years and CCS is the only technology that can turn high carbon fuels into genuinely low carbon electricity and keep costs low for consumers”.

“Drilling is part of a programme which confirms our confidence that CCS will be a practical part of tomorrow’s energy mix”.

“Within Europe, the UK is in a good position to lead on CCS with clusters of industry and power stations that are near to large storage sites like this one in the North Sea. Progress has been supported by an EU grant and this will enable further analysis on the samples we’ve collected.”

Power stations and industry in the Humber region create about 10% of total UK emissions. Captured carbon dioxide from this cluster of emitters could be taken in shared pipelines and stored in the North Sea storage site. National Grid would use its expertise in developing, constructing and operating gas pipelines to create a network to transport carbon dioxide.

The recent test drilling will provide additional data to confirm the volume that the site can hold and the rate that CO² can be injected. 

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