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Carbon capture 'cluster' scheme proposed by E. On

Power giant E.On has proposed a national grid-style network connecting major emitters of carbon dioxide in the Thames Estuary to a central pipeline which would trap and store their emissions.

In a new study, E.On claimed a “cluster” of power stations linked to a new system – which would carry the gas to be stored in old gas fields in the North Sea – could cut greenhouse gas by millions of tons a year.

An announcement is expected to be made by the Government today on its plans for a new generation of coal-fired power plants to stave off a potential energy crisis.

E.On’s plans for a carbon capture and storage cluster in the Thames Estuary could be built around new power stations proposed for Kingsnorth, Kent and Tilbury, Essex.

E.ON, which wants the Government go-ahead for its planned new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth, claimed the proposals could make a “dramatic difference” to emissions in the UK.

The study suggested the cluster would be capable of trapping 16 million tons of CO2 a year.

The scheme could also be used to trap and store emissions from a number of existing major power plants and a refinery, potentially capturing a total of 28 million tons of CO2 annually.

A decision over whether Kingsnorth can be built has been delayed while the Government runs a competition for companies to build demonstration plants with the CCS technology.

The cost of a single trial CCS scheme, on top of the price of the power plant is estimated to be between £750 million and £1.5 billion.

E.On has also estimated the build cost of the actual Kingsnorth power station at £1.5 billion.

Chancellor Alistair Darling yesterday announced a new funding mechanism which would pay for between two and four demonstration CCS plants.