The Runcorn carbon capture and storage (CCS) project is one of the first energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities in the world to have the carbon capture technology fitted, set to remove 450,000 tonnes from the atmosphere annually. 

As the owners engineer for renewable energy and waste management company, Viridor, COWI has completed the pre-FEED stage on the Runcorn CCS project. Together with the project stakeholders, COWI worked to develop the Basis of Design for the carbon capture plant as well as project timelines, and risk register. Work included reviewing cost and specifications from vendors for carbon capture installations. Runcorn is part of Liverpool City Region and is COWI's first CCS project in the UK. 

Leveraging international expertise, COWI has drawn on leading experts to review plans for the integration of CCS technology with the existing EfW plant in collaboration with project stakeholders. Several optimisations were put forward to maximise the energy efficiency of the plant. Adaptations to the condensate cooling design were also recommended to overcome challenges of a limited site footprint.

The project was recently shortlisted for the final stage in the Government’s industrial carbon capture (ICC) sequencing process. Once operational, the facility will capture c.900,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, 50% of which includes biogenic CO2, removing 450,000 tonnes from the atmosphere annually. 

Damian McGirr, Senior Market Director, at COWI, said “Deploying carbon capture and storage in the UK will be pivotal to reaching net zero by 2050. That’s why we are thrilled to be working with Viridor on one of the world's largest carbon capture projects at an energy from waste plant. Projects like this will play a key role in helping the UK reach its goals by accelerating the adoption of CCS technologies in the industrial sector and we are delighted to be part of that journey.”

The project will now move into a transition phase ahead of FEED with the CCS technology expected to be deployed by 2025.

COWI operates across a large green energy infrastructure portfolio in the UK and Ireland where the company is working on a range of projects including the development of pumped storage schemes, wind, green hydrogen, and carbon capture projects. It has committed to supporting the development of sustainable energy and recently announced that it would no longer be supporting fossil fuel projects. 

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Lorna Wharton LOWH

Lorna Wharton Chart.PR MCIPR
Leading Specialist
Press and Public Affairs, United Kingdom and North America