Image: Enfinium's Ferrybridge site with CGI of carbon capture tech overlayed - Credit: Enfinium
Today, they marked a significant announcement from British energy from waste company Enfinium, revealing a bold investment plan of up to £800 million in a pioneering carbon capture and storage (CCS) initiative at their Ferrybridge 1 and 2 site, located in Knottingley, West Yorkshire. This endeavor positions itself as a potential leader in Europe's CCS landscape.
The ambitious project, aiming for completion by 2030, is designed to capture approximately 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. This figure includes over 600,000 tonnes of high-grade carbon removal, an achievement akin to erasing the carbon footprint of every Manchester household annually.
Enfinium's plan also includes generating more than 90MW of power annually, which they categorize as 'carbon negative.' Their existing energy-from-waste facility already plays a crucial role in environmental management, diverting up to 1.45 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste from landfills each year. With the integration of CCS technology, Ferrybridge could transform into one of Europe's most substantial carbon removal projects, potentially creating over 200 jobs throughout its development phase.
This project is part of a broader movement seeking financial backing from the UK government, aligned with the Track 1 cluster sequencing process, set to commence this month. The Treasury had earlier confirmed a commitment of £20 billion over 20 years to support new CCS initiatives.
With plans to advance the planning and consent stages in 2024, Enfinium is awaiting a final investment decision, contingent upon the government's support package.
Mike Maudsley, CEO of Enfinium, said that to deliver a net zero emission economy, the UK must find a way to produce carbon removals, or harmful emissions, at scale.
"Installing carbon capture at our Ferrybridge site would make it one of Europe's biggest carbon removal projects," he said. "All this while decarbonizing unrecyclable waste, diverting it from climate-damaging landfill, and supporting the green economy in West Yorkshire and the wider community."
Enfinium's approach leverages the biogenic content of the UK's non-recyclable waste, including organic materials like food, plants, paper, and wood. These materials, having absorbed CO2 throughout their life cycles, offer a unique opportunity for carbon capture when incinerated, leading to net carbon removal or 'negative emissions.'
While some argue for recycling and reusing waste materials, transforming them into biogas instead of incineration, Enfinium points to the UK's ongoing production of significant amounts of non-recyclable waste, estimated to continue at about 17 million tonnes annually by 2042.
Olivia Powis, UK director of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, described the firm's planned £800m investment in CCS at Ferrybridge as a "critical milestone" for developing carbon removal and clean power capacity.
"For the UK to host one of Europe's largest carbon removal projects demonstrates we are really leading the way in our journey towards a net zero future," she said. "Enfinium's strategic vision has the potential to sustain and create good local jobs and transform the facility in West Yorkshire."
The news comes after the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero recently announced it is seeking views on its new draft CCS Network Code. It sets out the various commercial, operational, and technical arrangements that should govern networks that transport carbon captured from industrial and power plants to storage facilities.