Doncaster carbon capture power plan still on track, says new boss

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Plans for a carbon capture power station in Doncaster are back on track and could be completed in five years, bosses say.

But when it opens next to Hatfield Colliery in 2020, the scheme will burn only gas rather than the clean coal originally planned for the scheme.

The announcement comes as it was revealed jobs on the railway in Doncaster are set to be shed due to the fall in the amount of coal being moved by trains.

Sargas Power took over the power station scheme at the end of last year, nine years after the clean coal power station was first outlined by its previous owner Richard Budge.

Yesterday, the firm revealed it was expecting to make an announcement on the scheme in the next few days, and expects to start construction work in 2018.

Dewi ab Iorwerth, the firm’s managing director, said: “We are hoping to make an announcement in the next couple of days.

“The project was being developed by 2Co Energy, and has now been bought by Sargas Power. It is still on track in terms of delivering carbon capture and storage and building a new power station.

“Under the first phase of the scheme it would be gas-powered rather than coal, and hopefully it will be up and running in 2020.”

Mr ab Iorwerth said the original plan was in two phases, with gas in phase one, and coal as the second phase.

He added: “Coal would be the second phase and that could still happen one day but it is not planned at the moment.

“Carbon dioxide will still be captured so it will be a clean energy plant. We will still be using a European energy grant that can only be used for clean energy and carbon capture.

“Coal is not off the agenda for future development, but the current plans are just for gas.”

Sargas Power bought the Don Valley Power and CCS Project from 2Co Energy Limited in December 2014.

It says the Don Valley Power Project is at an advanced stage of development and already has its legal agreements for connecting to and transmission of its electricity using the National Grid network.

Various other licences are also in place, including the water supply.

National Grid will transport the captured carbon dioxide by pipeline and store it permanently in a saline formation deep beneath the North Sea. The project still has a €180 million grant available.

Sargas says the project is sufficiently advanced to come into operation immediately after the projects in the Government’s CCS Commercialisation programme. It would be the first project to follow on from Yorkshire’s White Rose project and the firm says it would benefit from the cost savings to be had from using the same CO2 transport and storage infrastructure, demonstrating the cost benefits of developing a cluster of projects in the area.