THE East Coast Cluster has won its bid to be one of the UK’s first two industrial carbon capture clusters.

The ECC is made up of both Zero Carbon Humber and Net Zero Teesside, supported by the Northern Endurance Partnership - a collaboration between bp, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and Total.

The Humber and Teesside industrial clusters make up half of the UK’s industrial emissions. Decarbonising these regions will have a big impact on the UK reaching net zero.

The project has been awarded 'track one' status from the Government's carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) scheme, paving the way for negotiations with viability checks ahead of major Government funding.

Energy Minister Greg Hands who made the announcement today said: “Deploying CCUS will be a significant undertaking, these are new major infrastructure projects for a new sector of the economy and carry with them significant risks to deliver by the mid-2020s.

"Government will continue to play a role in providing long-term certainty to these projects to manage these risks and bring forward the UK’s first CCUS clusters."

Andy Lane, NEP managing director, said: “Today is a significant milestone on our country’s journey to net zero emissions by 2050."

“We are delighted that the East Coast Cluster has been selected and we will look forward to delivering our project removing up to 50% of the UK’s industrial cluster CO2 emissions, creating tens of thousands of jobs and establishing the UK as a leader in the energy transition.”

Drax would act as an anchor project for Zero Carbon Humber.

Will Gardiner, CEO, Drax Group, said it was 'a crucial next step on the UK’s decarbonisation journey'.

"Drax’s bioenergy with carbon capture and storage project will play a vital role in the East Coast Cluster, enabling the UK’s most carbon intensive regions decarbonise, helping the UK to reach net zero."

“BECCS at Drax will protect and create tens of thousands of jobs, whilst showcasing the UK’s global leadership in a vital negative emissions technology. The first BECCS unit at Drax could be operational in 2027, delivering the world’s largest carbon capture project, permanently removing millions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, playing a vital role in the fight against the climate crisis.”