11 October 2022 • 4 min

Daniel Taylor

Utilising Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture Storage in the race to Net Zero

By Daniel Taylor, Senior Trade Advisor at British Embassy Stockholm

GREAT Inventors

The truth is that some energy-intensive industries will struggle to decarbonise and negative emissions processes can compensate for those hard-to-abate sectors. Bio-energy utilising carbon capture storage (BECCS) has the potential to be a negative emissions process. The carbon absorbed by sustainably managed biomass, plus the carbon captured and stored, remove more emissions from the atmosphere than they emit.

In Europe, two promising BECCS projects are underway in Sweden (Stockholm Exergi) and the UK (Drax).

The retrofit of the Drax coal-fired facility in North Yorkshire, one of the UK largest power plants, will form part of the proposed Zero Carbon Humber cluster – an ambitious partnership to build the world’s first net zero industrial region. Drax is one of Europe’s largest decarbonisation projects and will be carbon negative by 2030, supplying power to over 5 million homes and businesses.

Drax is an investor in Leeds-based C-Capture, whose technology can be used to remove CO2, and are exploring new projects outside the UK as growing demand for BECCS takes off, primarily in the US.

In Sweden, where bioenergy makes up a large part of the energy mix, Stockholm Exergi's combined heat and power plant plans to remove 800,000 tonnes of CO2 per year with BECCS. The project received support from the EU Innovation Fund in 2021 and is one of the most advanced and promising BECCS projects. International services provider to the energy industry, Petrofac is supporting this pioneering project with front-end engineering and design (FEED) services for the plant, including technical details for the following project stages.


Stockholm Exergi

Stockholm Exergi's full-scale BECCS plant. Photo credit: Bioenergy International


Petrofac has a 41-year track record in the design, build, management, and operation of offshore and onshore upstream and downstream facilities and has a growing track record supporting new energy projects across a wide range of technologies, including CCUS, hydrogen and waste-to-value.

Chet Biliyok, Petrofac's Technical Director, New Energy Services, explains:

We're deploying our expertise in gas processing, transport, and storage that we have gained from designing and building world-class oil and gas facilities to support the early design phases of several large-scale carbon capture and storage projects in Europe. By bringing together all our experience and expertise, we are helping our clients advance these critical projects.

Captured CO2 from projects will be compressed, transported and stored in depleted oil and gas fields in the North Sea.

With the potential to store more than 78 billion tonnes of CO2, the UK Energy Technologies Institute estimates the UK can be a world leader in CO2 storage services. Companies like Storegga Integrated are developing new CCS as a Service business models, integrating storage, transport and technology under one roof.

(Bio)-CCS is not without its challenges and should not be considered a silver bullet. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1.5⁰ scenarios highlight how important CCS and negative emissions will be if we are to meet ambitious climate targets.

Read the consultation on how the UK will support the development of BECCS in the UK in coming decade.

Action - Listen to Drax, C-Capture and Storegga Integrated discuss (Bio)-CCS following a visit to Stockholm in September. (PODCAST recording with Swedish negative emission forum Klimpo).

Sweden is part of the DIT Nordic and Baltic campaign Growing Green Together, which will provide a community platform – both digitally and through live events and webinars – to enhance collaboration around decarbonisation by connecting businesses with opportunities. More information at https://eu.eventscloud.com/ehome/ggt.

If you’re interested in finding out more, please connect with me on Linkedin.