Nearly 1 million tonnes a year of avoided CO2 take a step closer as Viridor’s £0.4Bn UK first carbon capture project selected for final stage of Government competition

Runcorn CGI

Viridor today welcomed the UK Government’s announcement that Runcorn Energy Recovery Facility’s CCS Project has been shortlisted for the final stage in the Government’s industrial carbon capture (ICC) sequencing process. The proposed plant will be one of the first carbon capture projects on an EfW facility in the world and the only operational EfW plant in the UK CCS competition.  


Developing CCS at Runcorn will kick start a world leading carbon capture industry right here in the UK. The project alone will capture c.900,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. Half of the captured CO2 will be from biogenic sources, effectively removing 450,000 tonnes from the atmosphere annually and driving the development of a critical source of negative carbon emissions.  Runcorn CCS will provide stable baseload supply to the HyNet industrial carbon capture cluster in the North West.  This reliability of supply is critical to underpinning investment in CCS infrastructure; an essential route to ensuring the UK achieves it’s 2050 net zero commitment.  


Not only is carbon capture on EfW pivotal to decarbonising the waste sector, but it will also help accelerate the development of industrial carbon capture and investment opportunities across the UK. The Runcorn CCS Project can be used as a benchmark, paving the way for the rest of the UK’s fleet of over 50 EfW facilities to invest in this essential technological advancement. Research by Eunomia, published in 2021 found that carbon capture investment at EfWs across the UK could be as much as 15% lower cost than the other industrial alternatives and would offer substantial investment and employment opportunities across the UK. The Runcorn CCS project alone will create net additional impact to the UK economy of 1,300 person-years of employment in design and construction, and c. 60 high permanent jobs in operation and maintenance. 


The UK becoming a world leader in industrial carbon capture is essential to unlocking the jobs, growth and investment the economy needs to deliver net zero that benefits communities across the UK. The resources sector has much untapped potential and Viridor is ambitious to invest in driving a net zero waste and resources economy. 


Kevin Bradshaw, CEO of Viridor commented: “We are delighted that Viridor’s Runcorn CCS project has been shortlisted by the UK Government. All credible analysis shows CCS to be essential to achieve the UK’s net zero commitments. Carbon capture on Energy Recovery Facilities is critical if we are to decarbonise the waste sector. Viridor is proud to be working with government to lead the way. We look forward to engaging with the Government to ensure that the UK becomes a world leader in industrial carbon capture.”  

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