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Three East Coast Cluster projects selected on CCUS cluster sequencing Phase 2: project negotiations list.

East Coast Cluster

30 March 2023 – The East Coast Cluster (ECC) took another step forward today as The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) announced that three projects within the cluster have been selected to enter the Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) cluster sequencing Phase 2: project negotiation list.

The three projects – Net Zero Teesside Power, H2Teesside and Teesside Hydrogen CO2 Capture, were selected from a shortlist of power CCUS, industrial carbon capture, and CCUS-enabled hydrogen projects announced in August 2022. These projects will make a vital contribution towards the UK’s carbon reduction targets by enabling low-carbon power generation, creating and supporting thousands of jobs and helping kick-start the UK hydrogen economy. 

The projects were assessed on deliverability, value for money and affordability, and their overall contribution across sector ambitions and to sectoral diversity, as well as strategic considerations, such as energy security.

The selected projects will now proceed to negotiations for support through the relevant business models – with final investment decisions for these projects expected in 2024, putting The East Coast Cluster on course for first commercial operations by 2027.

Today’s announcement is just the start. DESNZ have also announced that they will launch a process later this year to enable further expansion of the East Coast Cluster, beyond the initial deployment, identifying and selecting projects for the East Coast Cluster – including from the Humber – to be operational by 2030.

The Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP) is investing in developing at pace a wide portfolio of CO2 storage sites to serve both Teesside and the Humber, including the projects selected today and to ensure it is ready to meet the demand of a second and further waves of expansion projects, including those projects which have been unsuccessful in this round. These plans will see NEP double its CO2 storage capacity to around 10 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030 – subject to the final CO2 store validation and regulatory approvals.

bp and Equinor currently hold three carbon storage licenses on behalf of NEP which enable development of five CO2 storage sites in the southern North Sea and are awaiting the outcome of the 1st Carbon Licensing round in the UK – expected in April – having bid for a fourth license that will potentially unlock further stores for development.

To ensure future Track-1 expansion projects can connect to the CO2 transport and storage infrastructure without delay, the Northern Endurance Partnership is committed to continue to develop and agree its regulatory business plan in-line with the East Coast Cluster’s original Track-1 submission. This includes a commitment to develop concurrent CO2 pipelines to both Humber and Teesside with associated onshore infrastructure – subject to agreement with DESNZ and regulatory approvals.

The East Coast Cluster, connecting Humber and Teesside to CO2 storage, was selected as a Track-1 cluster by BEIS in Phase-1 of the cluster sequencing process in October 2021. This means it is set to become one of the UK’s first two CCUS clusters, with the potential to eventually transport and securely store an average of around 23 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2035 – around 50% of all UK industrial cluster emissions. 

Andy Lane, Managing Director of the Northern Endurance Partnership, said: “Congratulations to the projects that have been selected today, and thank you to the team at DESNZ for maintaining the momentum in this process. It is important to stress that the projects selected today are just the start of our ambition to expand carbon capture and storage to serve projects across the entire Teesside and Humber regions. The Northern Endurance Partnership is investing to develop a wide portfolio of CO2 storage sites which will more than double the CO2 storage capacity of the cluster to around 10 million tonnes per year by 2030 – ready to serve the East Coast Cluster expansion projects”.

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