Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE) has unveiled plans to build the UK’s first industrial-scale Carbon Capture & Utilisation (CCU) demonstration plant.

The plant will capture carbon dioxide from the flue gases of TCE’s 96MWe gas-fired combined heat and power plant (CHP), which supplies steam and power to the company’s Northwich operations and other industrial businesses in the area.

The CCU plant will then purify and liquify the gas for use directly in the manufacture of sodium bicarbonate.

With planning permission granted earlier this month, the CCU at TCE’s Northwich industrial site, is scheduled to commence carbon dioxide capture operations in 2021.

Supporting the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, the £16.7m project will be funded by TCE with the support of a £4.2m grant from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Carbon Capture and Utilisation Demonstration (CCUD) Programme.

Martin Ashcroft, TCE MD, said: “The CCU demonstration plant will enable us to reduce our carbon emissions, whilst securing supplies of a critical raw material, helping to grow the export of our products across the world.

“Implementing this industry leading project, with such strong environmental and operational benefits is hugely exciting, and we’re pleased to be working closely with BEIS to deliver the demonstration plant.

“We hope that this project will demonstrate the viability of CCU and pave the way for further applications of the technology to support the decarbonisation of industrial activity.

“Our parent company, Tata Chemicals, has supported this innovative project, enabling our UK operations to continue to reduce its carbon emissions.

“This project is a great example of business and Government working together to rise to the challenge of decarbonising industrial production.”

Chris Skidmore, Energy & Clean Growth Minister added: “Cutting edge technology to capture carbon will cut emissions as we work towards a net zero economy, while creating new jobs – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.

“This innovative project from Tata Chemicals Europe represents a major milestone in efforts to rollout carbon capture at scale by the 2030s.”