Viridor's Runcorn CCS Project to Advance to Next Stage

Bigcheese K067 315 2000Px Bc

Viridor Runcorn the UK's First Negative Emissions Project to advance to Next Stage

Viridor’s Runcorn CCS project agrees statement of principles with DESNZ

 Leading resource recovery and recycling business, Viridor has moved a step closer to making the UK’s first negative emissions project a reality, by agreeing a statement of principles with the UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). The project will deliver a world-leading Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project at its Runcorn Energy Recovery Facility (ERF).

Viridor’s ERF facilities generate electricity from waste which cannot be easily recycled or reused. With support from the UK Government, Viridor will invest over half a billion pounds to capture the carbon which is produced from the Runcorn facility.

The agreement reached with the UK Government marks a significant milestone in the UK’s efforts to become a world leader in carbon capture, currently being delivered through the Government’s cluster sequencing programme. Based in the industrial heartlands of the North West of England, HyNet – one of the first clusters of industrial businesses planned to be backed by the Government – brings together hard-to-abate industrials with ambitious plans to decarbonise through carbon capture and hydrogen. The HyNet ecosystem will see carbon captured, transported to Liverpool Bay and then safely stored in depleted oil and gas reservoirs under the seabed. Crucially, this approach will allow major industrial businesses, including Viridor, to continue operating post-Net Zero, protecting jobs and the economy.

Viridor will now enter final negotiations with DESNZ to conclude a Waste Industrial Carbon Capture contract, which could secure Government support alongside Viridor’s own investment to make the project a reality.

This agreement unlocks the next stage of investment and development in the project, which is set to capture in excess of 900,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, completely offsetting the carbon footprint of the treatment of over a million tonnes of waste per year . There are more than 50 Energy from Waste facilities in the UK, meaning successfully getting this project off the ground in Runcorn could serve as the blueprint for decarbonising a vital sector across the whole country.

The project may also deliver up to 10% of the UK Government's 2030 negative emissions target. Negative emissions are generated by removing and permanently storing carbon dioxide which naturally exists in our atmosphere.  Of the 900,000 tonnes of CO2  captured by the facility, half of this could generate negative emissions totalling c. 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 in the first decade of operations.

Tim Rotheray, Chief Sustainability Officer at Viridor says, “Today’s announcement is a great next step in our ambitious plans to transform our business, building on our sector leading commitment to be climate positive by unlocking negative emissions from this essential waste management process. This project is a testament to what the Government and private sector can achieve by working in partnership. Today marks the next stage in this exciting and ambitious journey towards being truly Net Zero, delivered for and working alongside the communities within which we operate.”
James Eyton, Head of Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) for Viridor adds, “Our CCS project in Runcorn will generate over 500 green industrial jobs in the UK averaged over the design and construction phase. Then ongoing, there will be 135 full-time jobs across the operation and maintenance of the plant and in the supply chain directly supporting those operations. Together with the wider HyNet scheme the project will attract private investment of c. £3Bn to the local area. It will also decarbonise the heat and power recovered from waste, which we supply to local heavy industry, and help secure the region’s future as a leader in Carbon Capture and Storage, unlocking our Green Industrial Revolution.”

For further information, contact

Photo credit: © 2024



Notes to Editors

About Viridor

Viridor is a sector leading resource recovery and recycling business focused on energy recovery and plastics recycling and reprocessing. We operate the largest fleet of EfW (energy from waste) facilities in the UK and the largest multi-line polymers reprocessing plant in the UK. Through a fleet of 10 EfW facilities, three plastics recycling and reprocessing sites, and a network of transfer stations, we process over three million tonnes of waste and recycling a year. Producing enough energy to power c. 500,000 British homes.

Viridor’s purpose is to build a world where nothing goes to waste.

In May 2021, Viridor published an ambitious decarbonisation plan committing to reaching Net Zero by 2040 and to becoming the UK’s first net negative emissions waste management company by 2045. And in December 2021, committed to being a fully circular plastics recycling and reprocessing business by 2025.

The natural (biogenic) carbon which, when captured and stored, generates negative emissions comes from sources such as food waste and waste plant matter, which is about half of the carbon that an ERF produces.



About Hynet

HyNet is the UK’s leading industrial decarbonisation project. It is unlocking a low carbon future in the North West of England and North Wales – creating new roles, safeguarding existing jobs, growing a skills base, and attracting investment into the region.

As part of the HyNet Carbon Capture and Storage infrastructure, it is progressing to the development of three carbon dioxide spur pipelines, one of which is the Runcorn Carbon Dioxide Spur Pipeline.