What is CCUS?
Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is a way of reducing carbon dioxide from emitting industries, which can help them on the path to Net Zero. It follows a three-step process involving: capturing carbon dioxide produced by industrial activity, transporting it via pipeline, ship, or rail and then storing it deep underground permanently, so it cannot enter the atmosphere.
Why is there a requirement?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Climate Change Committee (CCC) highlighted that, if we are to limit future temperature increases to 1.5°C, we must do more than just reduce emissions – we also need to deploy technologies to prevent carbon from entering the atmosphere, and to support industries that cannot readily reduce their own emissions.
CCUS is the solution, and one of the very few technologies that can significantly decarbonise hard to abate industries such as iron & steel, fertiliser, cement and chemical. It has the potential to transform the UK economy - retaining thousands of industrial jobs, while also creating new and innovative green roles. According to Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), CCUS alone could attract £100bn in international investment by 2050.
What is the process?
CO₂ released from industrial processes like coal and natural-gas-fired power plants or steel or cement plants will be separated from other exhaust gases and collected in the emitting sites.
Once the CO₂ is collected, it will be compressed and transported via pipeline, ship, or by train. The Morecambe carbon stores are strategically located in the NW of England adjacent to existing pipeline, rail, and port infrastructure.
Once transported to the storage site, the CO₂ will be injected into geological formations deep underground for permanent storage.
Storage in the MNZ Cluster
Over its lifetime, the MNZ Cluster has the capacity to store 1 gigaton of CO₂ (1,000 million tonnes) and at rates of up to 25 million tonnes per annum. MNZ can play a material part in meeting the government's target of having 20-30 MTPA of storage capacity by 2030.
Given the transportation networks and storage capacity the MNZ Cluster provides a realistic and longterm solution for the emitting industries, and has the potential to become one of the biggest carbon storage hubs in the UK.