Clegg backs CCS investment

Alan Partridge, chief executive officer of NAMTEC; Joe Anwyl, head of business development at the Advanced Manufacturing Park; Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and Peter Birtles, SMF Chairman

Alan Partridge, chief executive officer of NAMTEC; Joe Anwyl, head of business development at the Advanced Manufacturing Park; Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and Peter Birtles, SMF Chairman

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has highlighted the importance of investing in a groundbreaking UK ecological initiative unveiled in Yorkshire.

The Special Metals Forum (SMF), in partnership with National Metals Technology Centre (NAMTEC), launched the first ever report into Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), the technologies employed and the opportunities available for UK businesses to capitalise on this highly niche sector, worth an estimated £6.5bn

CCS involves capturing the carbon dioxide in fossil fuels, which fuel the majority of Britain’s power stations, either before or after combustion, and storing it for the long-term.

It has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and allow the continued use of fossil fuels for energy security with a reduction on environmental impact.

Delegates from the UK’s most advanced engineering and manufacturing industries gathered at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre in Rotherham for the launch, which focuses on reductions in emissions from fossil fuelled power stations – identified as a major carbon reduction strategy in a 2010 Government report[i], with potential value to the UK economy of £6.5bn and the creation of up to 100,000 jobs by 2030.

The SMF is taking a leading role in informing the UK metals manufacturing industry of the opportunities presented by the emerging CCS marketplace, which is largely unexplored, and in providing support to companies entering the supply chain.

The Deputy Prime Minister said: “CCS will play an enormously important part in the new, rebalanced economy. It is an industry of the future, taking the best of British talents in manufacturing, engineering and research, using our natural resources and spreading growth – green, sustainable growth – across all corners of the UK.

“Because the Coalition Government understands that if we invest in CCS now, if we get this right, we can create export opportunities of up to £6.5bn a year by 2030.

“We could create and sustain up to 100,000 new, high skilled jobs. And, at the same time, we can massively cut our carbon emissions. And, make no mistake, this isn’t simply well-meaning environmentalism. This is hard-headed economics. We know that, without CCS, halving global emissions by 2050 will be 70% more expensive.”

Alan Partridge, chief executive officer of NAMTEC, said: “Whilst the economic and environmental benefits of CCS have been widely discussed, the technological and manufacturing challenges still require significant development and offer a significant opportunity for the UK to capture a competitive advantage.

“Climate change is widely accepted as a reality, with combustion of fossil fuels releasing carbon dioxide as a major cause. However, fossil fuels continue to remain a major part of the UK’s future energy strategy, largely due to stability and flexibility of the electricity generation process in addition to security of supply.

“Manufacturing companies in the UK and elsewhere are now starting to engage with the technical challenges involved in carbon capture.”