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17 March 2010

U.K. Says Carbon-Capture Projects to Add 100,000 Jobs

Source: Bloomberg

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government said carbon-capture and storage projects may add 6.5 billion pounds ($10 billion) a year to the U.K. economy and create 100,000 jobs by 2030.

The Yorkshire and Humber area in northeast England will be a focus for developing the technology, known as CCS, according to a statement from the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Drax Group Plc’s power station in Selby, Europe’s biggest coal- fired power plant, and generators owned by Scottish & Southern Energy Plc and Electricite de France SA are all in the region.

CCS “presents a massive industrial growth opportunity for the U.K.,” Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said in today’s statement. “We have a strong, established and skilled workforce in precisely the sectors needed to get CCS deployed at scale.”

The Labour government is seeking to reduce unemployment and spur economic growth as Britain emerges from its worst recession in six decades. It’s promoting the development of CCS, which siphons off carbon dioxide produced at power plants and pipes it underground, to meet electricity demand while curbing emissions.

State Funding

Scottish & Southern has been awarded 6.3 million pounds to develop a 5-megawatt CCS project at its power plant in Ferrybridge, Yorkshire, according to today’s statement. Construction of the 21 million-pound trial facility will begin this year and should be complete in 2012, Ross Easton, a spokesman for the Perth, Scotland-based utility, said by phone.

Last week, the government awarded an unspecified amount of CCS funding to E.ON AG and Iberdrola SA’s Scottish Power unit and has pledged to finance as many as four demonstration projects for the technology. The U.K.’s Powerfuel Power Ltd. venture won 180 million euros ($248 million) of European Union funding in December.

Brown, who must hold an election by June, has announced several measures to create “green jobs” as he puts the environment at the heart of his campaign. Two days ago, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said that wave and tidal energy may provide jobs for 16,000 more workers by the 2040s.

The government’s new Office of CCS will drive the development of carbon capture technology, its regulation and funding, according to the statement.

The Yorkshire and Humber area includes a cluster of power stations and factories that may trap their emissions for underground storage. It’s also near depleted offshore oil and gas fields and saline aquifers that may be used as CO2 storage sites. In February 2009, National Grid Plc said it was drawing up a 2 billion-pound plan to pipe emissions from plants in the region under the seabed.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at [email protected]; Kari Lundgren in London at [email protected].