Tata Chemicals Europe has opened the UK’s first industrial scale carbon capture and usage plant signalling a key milestone in the race to meet the UK’s net zero targets.
The £20 million (€23 million) investment has been completed by Northwich-based Tata Chemicals Europe.
The plant captures 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year - the equivalent to taking over 20,000 cars off the roads and reduces TCE’s carbon emissions by more than 10%.
The project will help unlock the future of carbon capture in the UK as it demonstrates the viability of the technology to remove carbon dioxide from power plant emissions and to use it in high end manufacturing applications.
In a world-first, carbon dioxide captured from energy generation emissions is being purified to food and pharmaceutical grade and used as a raw material in the manufacture of sodium bicarbonate which will be known as Ecokarb®.
Ecokarb® will be exported to over 60 countries around the world, generating tens of millions of export revenue every year. Much of the sodium bicarbonate exported will be used in haemodialysis to treat people living with kidney disease.
The carbon capture plant, which was supported with a £4.2 million (€4.9 million) grant through the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Innovation Programme, marks a major step towards sustainable manufacturing which will see TCE make net zero sodium bicarbonate and one of the lowest carbon footprint sodium carbonate products in the world.
Martin Ashcroft, managing director of Tata Chemicals Europe, said: “The completion of the carbon capture and utilisation demonstration plant enables us to reduce our carbon emissions, whilst securing our supply of high purity carbon dioxide, a critical raw material, helping us to grow the export of our pharmaceutical grade products across the world.
“With the support of our parent company, Tata Chemicals, and BEIS, we have been able to deliver this hugely innovative project, enabling our UK operations to take a major step in our carbon emissions reduction journey. Since 2000 we’ve reduced our carbon intensity by 50% and have a clear roadmap to reduce this by 80% by 2030.”
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