The leader of North Lincolnshire Council has welcomed a government announcement putting a huge carbon capture proposal in pole position for funding from a £1bn pot.
The East Coast Cluster, which brings together Zero Carbon Humber, Net Zero Teesside and Northern Endurance Partnership, is designed to remove almost half of all the UK’s industrial carbon dioxide emissions by 2040.
Some 25,000 jobs are expected to be supported across the next quarter century through the schemes.
Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Net zero is a worthy aim which will protect the environment for generations to come but we know that cannot come at the expense of the jobs which people depend on for their livelihoods now.
“This scheme will not only contribute significantly to the net zero ambition but will protect those existing jobs and create a great many more.
“Once again North Lincolnshire, with colleagues and partners up to Teeside, is being taken very seriously by Government. The commitment to levelling-up is alive and well and I very much welcome this latest announcement which clearly shows a confidence in the area to develop a world-leading sector.”
The government announced the cluster, along with a similar scheme in the north west – Hynet – have been designated as Track One bids. Negotiations will now begin to release funding for the schemes from the £1bn Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Infrastructure Fund.
The announcement came as Greg Hands MP, Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth & Climate Change, unveiled the Government’s Net Zero Strategy, which sets out in detail the nation’s plan to reach legally binding targets to become a carbon neutral economy by 2050.
He told Parliament: “I am confirming that Hynet and East Coast have been confirmed as track 1 clusters for the mid-2020s and will be taken forward into negotiations.
“If the clusters represent value for money for the consumer and the taxpayer then, subject to final decisions of ministers, they will receive support under the government’s CCUS programme.”
He added: “Deploying CCUS will be a significant undertaking because these are major infrastructure projects for a new sector of the economy and carry with them significant risks to deliver by the mid-2020s and this is exactly why state support is needed.
“Government will continue to play a role in providing long-term certainty to these projects to manage these risks and bring forward the UK’s first CCUS clusters.”
The East Coast Cluster is based around the industrial areas of Teesside and Humber on England’s east coast and is being developed by the Northern Endurance Partnership – a collaboration between BP, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and Total, with BP as the lead operator.