China – UK coal fired carbon capture deal announced

The UK and China have reached a deal to develop clean coal technology with carbon capture and storage and build a demonstration project in both the EU and China by 2020.

The near Zero Emissions Coal (nZEC) deal was formally signed by UK Government Chief Scientific Advisor Sir David King and Minister Xu Guangha from the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

The UK is leading the first phase of the demonstration project with £3.5 million of funding from Defra and DTI. The three year feasibility study will examine the viability of different technology options for the capture of carbon dioxide emissions from power generation for geological storage in China.

Commenting on the agreement, UK Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said: “Carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power generation are growing rapidly and represent a serious challenge to the long-term stability of the climate. Carbon capture and storage technology have a key role to play in abating this impact and I strongly welcome today’s agreement.”

The deal comes at a time when carbon dioxide emissions from China’s increasing coal use are growing rapidly. The UK will be tendering for the work required in the feasibility stage and will be looking for expressions of interest early in 2006.

Sir David King said: “I am delighted to have been able to sign this important agreement which marks a new level of internationals cooperation in the practical demonstration of what I believe to be a critical technology in meeting the challenge of climate change.”

The European Commission is also preparing a high level agreement on carbon capture and storage to complement this agreement.

David Hopkins

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