Step forward for UK’s first net zero emissions power plant - International Burch University
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Step forward for UK’s first net zero emissions power plant

A collaboration agreement has been announced for the potential development of the UK’s first net zero emissions power plant in Teesside. Step forward for UK’s first net zero emissions power plant

US clean energy innovation firm 8 Rivers Capital, acting through its UK subsidiary, Zero Degrees Whitetail Development (ZDW), and Sembcorp Energy UK (SEUK), part of Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries, will work on the development of the power station at SEUK’s Wilton International site on Teesside.

The Whitetail Clean Energy project is expected to produce about 300Mw of clean, efficient, low-cost electricity, with potential expansion options in the future.

The Wilton International site offers convenient port and pipeline access, meaning that all Whitetail’s captured carbon dioxide can be transported to UK sequestration sites to be permanently stored in secure geological formations deep under the North Sea.

The Whitetail facility is expected to harness the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle, pioneered by NET Power and 8 Rivers Capital. The process combusts natural gas with oxygen, rather than air, and uses carbon dioxide as a working fluid to drive a turbine instead of steam. As a result, all air emissions, including traditional pollutants and carbon dioxide are eliminated and pipeline-quality carbon dioxide is produced so that it can be captured and stored offshore, making Whitetail a net zero emissions plant.

During its construction phase, Whitetail Clean Energy is expected to support over 2,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs, including cascading supply chain opportunities. The clean energy facility is also expected to support the retraining of power generation engineers with enhanced skills to operate the innovative infrastructure project.

Subject to regulatory support and if finalised to proceed, the collaboration agreement signed by ZDW and SEUK constitutes an important US-UK alliance with the potential to support a significant investment in decarbonisation in Teesside.

Energy & Climate Change minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan described the development of the power station as “a real game-changer and a significant step forward in the UK’s fight against climate change”.

She added: “This project not only demonstrates the UK’s leadership in helping the world decarbonise but our expertise in scaling up research and development projects, creating over 2,000 jobs in Teesside and opening up opportunities right across the supply chain – supporting our efforts to revitalise this key industrial heartland.”

8 Rivers Capital chief executive Cam Hosie added: “The Allam-Fetvedt Cycle technology was first supported by the UK government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change in 2010, and the announcement of the Whitetail Clean Energy project demonstrates the value of supporting research and development projects to support the UK’s efforts to achieve its net zero targets, with commercially scaled technologies today returning to the United Kingdom as proven concepts.”

Sembcorp Industries UK & Middle East chief executive Andy Koss also emphasised the potential of the project.

“Helping to bring this first-of-a-kind carbon capture technology to Teesside is part of Sembcorp Energy UK’s commitment to reducing the carbon emissions of its power generation assets at Wilton International and to be a leading provider of sustainable solutions,” he said.

NET Power chief executive Ron DeGregorio added: “Decarbonising Teesside through NET Power’s groundbreaking technology is a critical step towards achieving the UK’s net zero emissions targets.

“In addition to those two development partners, the UK government has been instrumental in supporting this project, and its foresight and leadership on carbon capture and storage should serve as inspiration for the rest of the world to take bold action to achieve net zero.”


Department of Civil Engineering