Quality contenders complete for £1bn CCS competition
Companies bidding for a share of the Government-backed Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) competition offer of £1bn will know this autumn if they've won or lost in the battle to help lead the UK towards a £6.5bn a year industry.
DECC has now closed the bidding process, stating simply that there has been significant interest from industry and a 'good range' of applications.
SNP Westminster energy spokesman, Mike Weir, told edie , however, that he hoped the current competition process would finally result in some much-needed CCS progress.
While not naming any of the current contenders, DECC had already published the following 'interested list' in May, naming potential lead bidder/parent bidder contenders at that stage as Air Liquide (Progressive Energy), Alstom (Portland Gas Storage), Centrica, Hydocarbon Resources Ltd. (SEQ), Costain Energy & Process (Shell), CO2 Deepstore (SSE), Doosan Power Projects (SSI), National Grid (Summit Power), and Peel Energy (2Co).
"We will be carrying out an initial review of each bid before making further details available in the next few weeks," said DECC. "Decisions on which projects to support will be made in the autumn following an assessment and evaluation process."
The development of CCS technology in the UK is seen as massive business opportunity, creating export opportunities for UK based firms estimated at £3bn to £6.5bn per year by the late 2020s.
Getting the UK's CCS bandwagon rolling, however, has already involved a false start surrounding the collapse last November of the Longannet scheme in Fife. That was primarily because the proposed £1.3bn development cost was deemed to be too high by the Government.
"After the two previous competitions which came to nothing and Treasury confusion on the availability of the fund it essential that we make progress," said Mr Weir. "We need a clear guarantee and timetable from the UK government now that this latest competition has closed. Previous delays mean that other countries are powering ahead with their projects, leaving us in their wake rather than leading the race."
Successful bidders, when they're known, will be committed to achieving operational status by 2016-2020. They have been told however, that sooner than 2016 would be even more 'desirable'.