Sembcorp in tie-up to explore British net-zero emissions power plant

The Whitetail Clean Energy project will be situated in north-east England and is expected to produce 300MW of electricity. PHOTO: RONNIE LIM

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Sembcorp Industries will collaborate with Zero Degrees Whitetail Development, the British subsidiary of United States innovation firm 8 Rivers Capital, to explore the development of a net-zero emissions power station in Britain.

The project, named Whitetail Clean Energy, will be situated at Sembcorp Energy UK's Wilton International site on Teesside in north-east England and is expected to produce 300MW of electricity, with potential for future expansion. Sembcorp Energy UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Industries.

This would be Britain's first net-zero emissions power station, Sembcorp said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday (July 13).

The group added that with the Wilton International site offering convenient port and pipeline access, Whitetail's captured carbon dioxide can be conveniently transported to and stored within British sequestration sites in secure geological formations deep under the North Sea.

Whitetail is expected to use the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle (AFC), a new type of power cycle pioneered by 8 Rivers Capital and NET Power, a clean energy technology company in the US, the group said. AFC combusts natural gas with oxygen rather than air, and uses supercritical carbon dioxide as a working fluid to drive a turbine instead of steam.

Sembcorp said this eliminates all air emissions, including traditional pollutants and carbon dioxide, and pipeline-quality carbon dioxide is produced that can be captured and stored offshore, making Whitetail a net-zero emissions plant.

The plans are subject to British regulatory support and if finalised, could be an important milestone in advancing the decarbonisation of Teesside, the group said.

Sembcorp's collaboration agreement with Zero Degrees Whitetail Development is in line with the company's earlier announced aim to quadruple its gross installed renewable energy capacity from 2.6 gigawatts (GW) to 10 GW.

The company is also committed to halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and deliver net-zero emissions by 2050.

Sembcorp shares closed 0.9 per cent or two cents lower at $2.11 on Monday.

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