Drax and MHI to create world’s largest negative emissions project

15 June 2021

Drax Group and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd., part of the MHI Group, have agreed a long-term contract for Drax to use its carbon capture technology, the Advanced KM CDR process, in what would be the largest deployment of negative emissions in power generation anywhere in the world. 

The contract will see Drax license MHI’s unique carbon capture solvent, KS-21TM, to capture CO2 at its power station near Selby, North Yorkshire. 

Drax is already the largest decarbonisation project in Europe, having converted its power station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal, reducing its emissions by more than 85%. By deploying BECCS technology, Drax aims to go further – becoming carbon negative by 2030. The first BECCS unit at Drax could be operational as soon as 2027, and capturing and storing at least 8 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030. 

Drax is the first company to sign a contract to deploy carbon capture technology at large scale in the UK. The project combines MHI’s technology with offshore geological storage under the North Sea, helping the UK achieve its target to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035. As part of the agreement, MHI plans to locate its core CCS team at the company’s European headquarters in London and explore additional employment opportunities in the UK in future. MHI is also looking at ways to strengthen its supply chain, including the potential production of its proprietary solvent in the UK. Drax has already successfully trialled MHI’s carbon capture technology in a pilot that started in 2020 to test two of MHI’s proprietary solvents (KS-1TM and KS-21TM). 

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “The world urgently needs to move from making climate pledges to taking climate action. Carbon capture technologies like BECCS are going to be absolutely vital in the fight against the climate crisis.”

Drax says that with an effective negative emissions policy and investment framework from the government, BECCS could be deployed as soon as 2027. The company has already kick-started the planning process to deploy BECCS at its power station in North Yorkshire – if it is successful, work could get underway to build BECCS at Drax by 2024.

Image: L-R: Kentaro Hosomi, Chief Regional Officer EMEA, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI); Carl Clayton, Head of BECCS, Drax Group; Jenny Blyth, Project Analyst, Drax Group at Drax Power Station, North Yorkshire (Credit: Drax Group)

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