The company, part of the Doosan Group successfully demonstrated the clean combustion system, which is designed to cut emissions of carbon dioxide in coal-fired power plants.
The OxyCoal Clean Combustion Test Facility in Renfrew was demonstrated for the first time on a full-size 40-megawatts-thermal burner. OxyCoal combustion burns coal in an atmosphere of pure oxygen and recycled flue gas to give an output stream of concentrated carbon dioxide that can then be cleaned and piped away for injection into underground stores. Doosan Babcock says the carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology will be suitable for installation in new or existing coal power plants.
The £7.4 million project is a collaboration between Doosan Babcock and Scottish and Southern Energy plc, alongside a group of seven sponsors that includes UK utility Drax Group plc, DONG Energy A/S, Electricite de France SA, E.
ON AG, Scottish Power Limited, Air Products plc and Sweden's Vattenfall AB. The UK government and UK Coal plc are also involved.
Just last month, Scottish Power turned on the UK's first CCS system, which was installed at a working coal-fired power plant located in Longannet, Fife, on Scotland's east coast.
"Cleaning up coal power is a must if we're to meet our climate change goals whilst keeping the lights on," said Joan Ruddock, the Minister of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which opened the facility. "The development of CCS offers high-quality jobs and export opportunities for the UK, which is why we're supporting this OxyCoal project with £2.2 million of funding. Our proposals on coal are some of the most radical in the world and will help ensure the UK leads the way on CCS."
Doosan Babcock is convinced that the project marks a milestone in CCS development and will help the UK secure its fair share of the predicted £2 billion-£4 billion-a-year global CCS market by 2030.
"The OxyCoal project places Doosan Babcock at the forefront of carbon capture development, and we are delighted to acknowledge the positive high level endorsement of the project by DECC and our sponsors," said Iain Miller, CEO of Doosan Babcock. "With our product portfolio now including both OxyCoal and Post Combustion Capture technologies, Doosan Babcock will be ready to deliver very low-emission power technology to our customers around the world as fast as the market for these products becomes available."
Ian Marchant, Chief Executive of Scottish and Southern Energy, commented: "The Low Carbon Transition Plan sets a great deal of store by the successful deployment of carbon capture and storage technology. The pace of progress in recent years has been disappointing, but I hope that renewed impetus from government, allied to the type of co-operation evident in the OxyCoal project, will bring us closer to the ultimate goal of successful deployment of large-scale carbon capture and storage technology here in the UK and elsewhere."
The OxyCoal-fired plant retains a full air-firing capability, which Doosan maintains minimises the "commercial risk of the early adoption of the technology."