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Nick Clegg launches key carbon capture report showing potential £6.5bn market

posted 7 Feb 2011, 00:55 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 15 Feb 2011, 02:22 ]

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg unveiled how British manufacturing businesses can capitalise on one of the most important UK ecological initiatives worth an estimated £6.5bn, during a recent event at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).

The Special Metals Forum (SMF), in partnership with National Metals Technology Centre (NAMTEC), launched the first ever report into Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), the technologies employed and the opportunities available for UK businesses to capitalise on this highly niche sector.

CCS involves capturing the carbon dioxide in fossil fuels, which fuel the majority of Britain’s power stations, either before or after combustion, and storing it for the long-term. It has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and allow the continued use of fossil fuels for energy security with a reduction on environmental impact.

Delegates from the UK’s most advanced engineering and manufacturing industries gathered for the launch at Rotherham’s AMP Technology Centre. It focuses on reductions in emissions from fossil fuelled power stations – identified as a major carbon reduction strategy in a 2010 Government report, with potential value to the UK economy of £6.5bn and the creation of up to 100,000 jobs by 2030.

The SMF is taking a leading role in informing the UK metals manufacturing industry of the opportunities presented by the emerging CCS marketplace, which is largely unexplored, and in providing support to companies entering the supply chain.

The Deputy Prime Minister said: “In order to grow, our economy must diversify, reducing its reliance on financial services and making the most of our expertise. The green economy has the potential to be an integral part of our economy, as well as being vital to the battle against climate change. 

“I am delighted that this report identifies the opportunities in carbon capture and storage, and look forward to seeing how it is exploited to create jobs and growth in the UK.”

Peter Birtles, SMF chairman, said: “The aim of this report is to provide the first ever review of the technology, materials and opportunities for carbon capture and storage for power generation, highlighting opportunities for metals companies to create a robust supply chain within the UK.”

CCS is promised to be a significant area of growth over the next two decades, offering widespread opportunities for manufacturing and research.  Around 75% of the UK’s energy is provided from fossil fuels, which will continue to be a major part of the UK’s future energy mix moving forward.

Mr Birtles added: “This unique publication will be invaluable for anyone wishing to equip themselves with the knowledge and insight required to thrive in the carbon capture storage supply chain at this early stage of development.”

More than 60 organisations have contributed their expertise and technical interests, which offers a unique listing of key operators and manufacturers already active in areas including advanced supercritical plant new-build and retrofit, pre and post combustion carbon capture, oxyfuel carbon capture and the handling, transport and storage of carbon dioxide.

Alan Partridge, chief executive officer of NAMTEC, said: “Whilst the economic and environmental benefits of CCS have been widely discussed, the technological and manufacturing challenges still require significant development and offer a significant opportunity for the UK to capture a competitive advantage.

“Climate change is widely accepted as a reality, with combustion of fossil fuels releasing carbon dioxide as a major cause.  However, fossil fuels continue to remain a major part of the UK's future energy strategy, largely due to stability and flexibility of the electricity generation process in addition to security of supply.

“Many technical challenges remain in implementing carbon capture on the scale required, and hence this is a significant area for research and development, particularly in regard to the advancement of corrosion resistance in metals, high integrity joining methods, surface treatments and forming processes for high surface area applications.” 

“Widespread deployment of carbon capture over the coming years is likely to necessitate a rapid expansion of existing supply chains, in addition to the emergence of new supply chains for developing equipment.

“Manufacturing companies in the UK and elsewhere are now starting to engage with the technical challenges involved in carbon capture.”

Influential guests attending and also presenting at the launch included Sheffield Forgemasters International Limited, Philip Sharman from Alstom UK, Peter Barnard from Doosan Babcock and Roland Birley from Siemens.

The report, Carbon Capture & Storage: Technology, Materials and Key Players, also includes a directory of organisations involved in metals manufacturing, treatment and supply who have interest in and capabilities relevant to the emerging field of CCS; support organisations and networks for CCS in the UK and elsewhere and up-to-date information on pilot and demonstration plant activities for CCS in the UK.

It is available from NAMTEC and can be ordered on-line through www.namtec.co.uk