Uniper has awarded Aker Carbon Capture a Process Design Package (PDP) to deliver design studies for a proposed post combustion carbon capture plant at its Grain power station in Kent in the Southeast of England.

The project is a proposal to retrofit post combustion carbon capture technology on up to all three of the existing combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) units at the power plant, with the potential to capture over 2 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

In the first phase, Aker Carbon Capture will provide its own process technology design to capture carbon from the existing CCGT units at the plant, delivering a PDP that will establish the process design for the CO2 capture, conditioning, liquefaction, and temporary storage facility, as well as incorporating potential heat integration solutions. The PDP will include the necessary design information required by an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm to perform final engineering of the plant. 

This design is expected to make use of what Aker describes as its ‘best in class intellectual property’, its process design expertise and project execution experience. The PDP delivery process will allow Uniper to evaluate Aker Carbon Capture’s technology for one of the three gas turbines, helping to inform planning and permitting applications for the future construction and operation of the carbon capture plant at the existing power station.

If Uniper selects Aker Carbon Capture as technology licensor at the end of the PDP process, the next step will be to move to the front-end engineering and design phase ahead of a final investment decision, which is expected to be taken by Uniper in the mid-2020s.

Egil Fagerland, CEO at Aker Carbon Capture commented: “This award is a huge stepping stone towards turning our existing Big Catch EPC offering into a Licence and Key Equipment model. If this project reaches a final investment decision Aker Carbon Capture may have the opportunity to provide the full technology licence and deliver key equipment.“

Roger Brandwood, project manager for Uniper’s Grain Carbon Capture project, said: “The award of the first PDP contract to Aker Carbon Capture signifies a key milestone in the development of our plans to decarbonise electricity production at our Grain power station. The … project will contribute towards Uniper’s ambitious strategy to make our European power generation 80% carbon neutral by 2030.”

The UK government has committed to investing up to £20 billion over the next two decades for local carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, with an ambition to capture 20-30 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030. It has committed to deploying CCS in 2 industrial clusters by the mid-2020s, then in a further 2 clusters by 2030.

Image: Grain power station in Kent