New BECCS pilot project under development at Drax Power Station

By Drax Group | June 24, 2020

Drax Group and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering Ltd., part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group (MHI), have agreed a new bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project at Drax Power Station which will get underway 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 300kg 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 ground-breaking BECCS at the power station in North Yorkshire will help to boost the U.K.’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 further our understanding of the potential for deploying BECCS at scale at Drax—taking us closer to achieving our world-leading ambition to be a carbon negative company by 2030.”

Two of MHI’s proprietary solvents will be tested, one of which—KS-1 Solvent—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 metric tons of COa year. The other is the newly developed KS-21 Solvent,  designed to achieve significant performance improvements and cost savings.

Kenji Terasawa, president and 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 U.K.’s zero carbon targets in a material way.”

Implementing BECCS at Drax could deliver 16 million metric tons of negative emissions a year—a third of the negative emissions the U.K. needs from BECCS 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.

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 U.K. 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.