Tata Plans Carbon Capture Unit in UK
Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE), the UK subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, has unveiled plans to build the UK’s first industrial-scale carbon capture and utilization (CCU) demonstration plant at its site in Northwich.
The plant, said TCE, will also be the world’s first in capturing and purifying carbon dioxide (CO2) from power generation plant emissions for use in the manufacture of high-purity sodium bicarbonate.
After capturing CO2 from the flue gases of TCE’s gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant, the CCU unit will purify and liquefy the gas and use it directly for producing sodium bicarbonate. The plant will be able to capture and produce up to 40,000 t/y of CO2, reducing the CHP facility’s carbon emissions by 11%.
Planning permission for the plant was granted earlier last month, and the facility is scheduled to start operating in 2021.
High-grade sodium bicarbonate used in food and pharmaceutical applications is TCE’s largest-volume export product and the company said global demand is rising as more of the world’s population gains access to healthcare. TCE already exports 60% of its sodium bicarbonate output and said the CCU project will be a springboard to unlock further growth in its export markets.
The project will cost £16.7 million and will be funded by TCE with the support of a £4.2 million grant from the UK’s Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Carbon Capture and Utilization Demonstration (CCUD) program.
“We hope that this project will demonstrate the viability of CCU and pave the way for further applications of the technology to support the decarbonization of industry activity,” said TCE’s managing director Martin Ashcroft.
Energy & Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore added that the project represented a “major milestone” in efforts to roll out carbon capture at scale by the 2030s.
TCE is the UK’s only manufacturer of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate and is also one of the country’s leading producers of salt.