5.4.2023 | Ports

ABP & Sizewell C plan to develop Direct Air Capture facility at the Port of Lowestoft

DAC technology uses chemical reactions to extract carbon dioxide from the air, which can then be stored. This could become a key technology for reducing carbon emissions.

Associated British Ports (ABP) and Sizewell C are developing plans to locate a unique Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility at ABP’s Port of Lowestoft, which would be capable of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Direct Air Capture technology uses chemical reactions to extract carbon dioxide from the air, which can then be stored. This could become a key technology for reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change.

The project at Lowestoft is designed to demonstrate a more efficient and innovative DAC process, which would be powered principally by heat.

ABP and Sizewell C have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to finalise the commercial arrangements to lease a site at the Port of Lowestoft, and the planning permission to build the facility will be sought shortly.

If the demonstrator project is successful, a permanent full-scale DAC unit could then use the heat generated from Sizewell C to extract CO2 from the air. The full-scale DAC facility would be located at a separate location from the power station, with the heat transported through underground pipes. Such a facility could potentially capture 1.5m tonnes of CO2 each year. That is enough to almost offset the UK’s total emissions from railway transport.

The plans follow the UK Government’s decision to award £3m to Sizewell C and its partners (Birmingham University, Nottingham University, Helical, Atkins and Altrad Babcock) in 2022 as part of the Greenhouse Gas Removals competition, to develop this novel heat-assisted DAC technology.

All the engineering, design, construction and testing activities for the demonstrator unit will be carried out in the UK.

Sizewell C’s Managing Director for Financing, Julia Pyke, said:

We are delighted to be developing plans with ABP to locate the demonstrator DAC facility at the Port of Lowestoft and to help drive net-zero innovation in the East of England.

“DAC is one part of our plan to make Sizewell C a low-carbon hub, which will help kickstart other technologies and deliver even more value to our energy system.”

ABP’s Regional Director, Andrew Harston, said:

ABP’s Port of Lowestoft is very pleased to host this demonstrator DAC project, which represents a great step forward in our shared goals of achieving net zero. The project aligns closely with ABP’s recently published strategy, to achieve Net Zero by 2040, as well as SZC’s focus on the production of clean, low-carbon energy.

“ABP plans to continue to support the development of Sizewell C and looks forward to both the DAC development and the construction at Sizewell commencing as soon as possible.”

Image: Aerial image of Outer Harbour at ABP’s Port of Lowestoft.