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Costain Technology Selected For Advancing Carbon Reduction

20 July 2011

Costain has been selected by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to lead the development of the next generation in carbon capture technology.

The project will see a carbon capture pilot plant capable of capturing 95% of carbon dioxide emissions designed, built, operated and tested by the middle of 2015.

Costain will undertake the first phase of the project, lasting 16 months and costing £3.5million, executing the front end engineering design for the demonstration unit. Costain will lead work by the University of Edinburgh and Imperial College, London on the first stage, to help understand and optimise performance of the technology.

The ETI expects to invest £20million in the second stage, as the pilot plant is built, demonstrated and the results analysed. Demonstration is key to building user group confidence in the capture element.

A potential site has been identified for the pilot plant, and will be reviewed and ranked against other options and then confirmed during the first stage of the project.

The technology developed by Costain has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by coal-fired power stations. The technology delivers a high capture rate, while improving capital cost and power generation efficiencies, in comparison with conventional capture schemes.

Development of the next generation of carbon capture technologies is a critical part of Costain’s strategy of Meeting National Needs, as it is seen as crucial to helping the UK meet its 2050 climate change targets.

Charles Sweeney, Managing Director of Costain’s Energy & Process division, said: “The ability to capture carbon from fossil fuel-fired power stations is vital for countries throughout the world to meet their carbon reduction commitments in the fight against global warming.”

Martin Land, Costain Power Sector Director, added: “We are excited at the potential of this innovation, and its contribution to the increased attractiveness of clean fossil generation, both in UK, Europe and wider global markets.”

The ETI is a public private partnership between six global industrial companies – BP, Caterpillar, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell - and the UK Government tasked with developing ‘mass scale’ technologies that will help the UK meet its 2020 and 2050 energy targets. It is concerned with identifying affordable, sustainable and secure energy across heat, power, transport and the infrastructure that links them.

Dr David Clarke, ETI Chief Executive, said: “Current technologies significantly increase the costs of capturing CO2 and reduce the power output or increase fuel consumption. This project will develop technology which will reduce the costs and increase performance to allow a full scale commercially viable facility to be ready for power export by 2020."