The Energy Technologies Institute has awarded Costain a £3.5 million carbon capture contract.
The contractor will lead work by the University of Edinburgh and Imperial College on the first phase of a project to build, operate and test a carbon capture pilot plant by 2015.
Costain’s work will last 16 months and involves developing the front end engineering design for the demonstration unit.
A further £20m is expected to be invested in the second phase of the project by the ETI with the site for the pilot plant yet to be confirmed.
Costain’s Energy & Process division managing director Charles Sweeney said: “The ability to capture carbon from fossil fuel-fired power stations is vital for countries throughout the world to meet their carbon reduction commitments in the fight against global warming.”
Costain Power Sector director Martin Land added: “We are excited at the potential of this innovation, and its contribution to the increased attractiveness of clean fossil generation, both in UK, Europe and wider global markets.”
The ETI is a public private partnership between BP, Caterpillar, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell and the UK government, tasked with developing ‘mass scale’ technologies that will help the UK meet its 2020 and 2050 energy targets.
It aims to identify affordable, sustainable and secure energy across heat, power, transport and the infrastructure that links them.
ETI chief executive Dr David Clarke said: “Current technologies significantly increase the costs of capturing CO2 and reduce the power output or increase fuel consumption.
“This project will develop technology which will reduce the costs and increase performance to allow a full scale commercially viable facility to be ready for power export by 2020.”