Power plant engineering and construction giant Bechtel is partnering with a renewable energies company to explore the potential of bioenergy production sites combined with carbon capture and storage.
The EPC firm announced its strategic agreement with Drax to create Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) plants around the world. The focus for both companies working together is identify design optimization for engineering and building BECCS plants
Drax already has undertaken what it calls the largest decarbonization project in Europe—converting its power station in North Yorkshire, England, to use biomass instead of coal.
Jason Shipstone, Drax Group Chief Innovation Officer, said: “Negative emissions technologies such as BECCS are crucial in tackling the global climate crisis and at Drax we’re planning to retrofit this to our UK power station, demonstrating global climate leadership in the transformation of a former coal-fired power station.”
Bechtel will focus its study on strategically important regions for new build BECCS plants, including North America and Western Europe, as well as reviewing how to optimize the design of a BECCS plant using state-of-the-art engineering to maximize efficiency, performance and cost.
“Technological advancements have created new opportunities to improve how we bring power to communities worldwide,” Jamie Cochrane, Bechtel Manager of Energy Transition, said in a statement. “We are resolved to work with our customers on projects that deliver effective ways to contribute to a clean energy future. Tackling the big global challenges related to climate change is key to meeting aggressive environmental targets and we are proud to partner with Drax to optimize design and explore locations for the new generation of BECCS facilities.”
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Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Drax also owns and has interests in 17 pellet mills in the southern U.S. and western Canada which have the capacity to manufacture 4.9 million tonnes of compressed wood pellets (biomass) a year. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.
Bechtel, meanwhile, also has built more than 40 carbon capture plants for LNG facilities, refineries and gas processing plants.