LONDON (Reuters) – Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE) plans to build Britain’s first industrial-scale carbon capture and utilization (CCU) demonstration plant to trap emissions for use in sodium carbonate manufacturing, the firm said on Thursday.
The 16.7 million pound ($21.2 million) project will be located at the company’s Norwich industrial site in eastern England and should start operations in 2021.
TCE is Britain’s only manufacturer of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate and is one of the country’s leading producers of salt. Its products are materials for the glass, food, pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing sectors.
It is also the largest single-site user of liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) in Britain. Food-grade liquid CO2 is used to manufacture high-grade sodium bicarbonate, which is primarily used in pharmaceuticals and hemodialysis.
“The CCU demonstration plant will enable us to reduce our carbon emissions, whilst securing supplies of a critical raw material, helping to grow the export of our products across the world,” TCE managing director Martin Ashcroft said in a statement.
Carbon capture, storage and use (CCSU) technology traps emissions from power plants and industry to allow them to be compressed and stored for deployment in other applications.
Many countries are seeking to develop projects to help meet their climate targets, but one obstacle has been cost.
There are fewer than 20 large CCSU projects in operation globally but many more will be needed to meet the challenge of climate change, the International Energy Agency says.
Rather than storing the CO2, CCU uses it to make other substances such as plastics or biofuel and could be a way to reduce greenhouse gases from industrial emitters.
TCE’s CCU plant will capture CO2 from the flue gases of its 96-megawatt gas-fired combined heat and power plant. It will then purify and liquefy the gas for use in sodium bicarbonate manufacturing, the firm said.
The plant will be capable of capturing and producing up to 40,000 tonnes a year of CO2 to reduce TCE’s carbon emissions by 11%.
Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Dale Hudson