UKCCSRC September 2018 Conference session blog: The implementation of CCUS Clusters

This blog was produced by Yongliang Yan and Adeola Awoyomi

The morning session on day one of the UKCCSRC Programme Conference at the University of Sheffield was kicked off with an update on the need to act now on the implementation of Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) where the value and potential benefits of CCUS in different fields was explored.

The next agenda was presented by James Watt on the implementation of CCUS clusters. He is currently a Process Engineering Manager for the Tees Valley Centre, UK Wood plc and a technical discipline mentor for renewables and carbon capture and storage.

James Watt gave a brief description of the background of the Wood plc and their current research activities in clusters. Thereafter, he gave an overview on cluster principles and examples. He started off with the definition of emitter cluster, cluster storage, how to possibly identify the need for a potential clusters in terms of concentration, storage capacity and regional political/industrial interest. He explored the different reasons for high level cluster consideration some of which are; political desire to lead, land use, population density, historical industry location, competition of emitters to use the same storage sites, limited CO2 pipeline experience, etc. He further elucidated on issues with clusters, most importantly on the five basic considerations which are needful for any potential start up and they include the following; the need for a committed anchor project, density of emissions, regional policies, proximity of emitters, and high potential of accessibility to storage volumes. Teesside collection development activities was explained by James, being Europe’s first CCS equipped industrial zone. He also stated more examples on clusters in Scotland, Humber, Mersey and Dee.

James Watt showed a plotted history of UK clusters and mentioned the first study in cluster infrastructure was led by IEAGHG in 2006. The main concerns of the development of the clusters are costs, time penalty on investment, right sizing for future development of capture processes. He also talked about the opportunities in CCUS with clusters in UK. At the end, he gave the outlook and further opportunities for implementation of the CCUS clusters. He pointed out that we needed to move beyond “cluster studies” and also carry along industries in our research to prove capture is viable and necessary.