Infrastructure solutions company,Costain has successfully completed the front-end engineering design stage for key onshore elements of the East Coast Cluster (ECC) carbon capture facility in the industrial heartland of Teesside.
The project is intended to pave the way for Net Zero Teesside Power (NZT), and the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), to capture and store carbon dioxide beneath the North Sea.
The former is a joint venture between bp and Equinor, which aims to be the world’s first commercial scale gas-fired power station with carbon capture technology, and could generate up to 860 megawatts of low carbon power – equivalent to the electricity requirements of around 1.3m UK homes.
NEP, meanwhile, is a joint venture between bp, Equinor, and TotalEnergies. It is the ECC’s CO2 transportation and storage provider.
The front-end engineering design (FEED) phase commenced in April 2022 and has seen Costain planning new systems for both NZT and NEP in an integrated programme of activity.
The completed FEED design for NZT includes natural gas supply pipework and a high voltage 275kV power network. For NEP, design work focused on the onshore CO2 gathering network.
When finished, the c.12km of 22-inch pipeline will have an initial capacity to transport around 4m tonnes of CO2 per annum to be securely stored under the North Sea.
Laura Hughes, energy sector director at Costain, said: “This is an exciting and complex project and one that will leave an enormous legacy for the region. It won’t be long before Teesside will benefit from a world-leading, integrated decarbonisation system, with the East Coast Cluster bringing the UK closer to its net zero goals.
“We have designed a CO2 gathering network that is the first in the world to be a wholly above-ground network. This presented interesting design and engineering challenges when considering the properties of CO2 and its ability to liquify at certain temperatures and pressures.
“However, extensive flow assurance simulations and data modelling has given us a better understanding of the dynamics of CO2 and its behaviours to successfully complete the design for a safe, resilient and efficient network.”
The Teesside onshore NEP infrastructure will serve the Teesside-based carbon capture projects – Net Zero Teesside Power, H2Teesside and Teesside Hydrogen CO2 Capture – that were selected for first connection to the ECC by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) in March 2023.
To support this selection, Costain is currently updating the FEED design, due for completion Q2 2024, in readiness for detailed design.
Net Zero Teesside Power and the Northern Endurance Partnership aim to take Final Investment Decisions in September 2024, and aim for first commercial operations from 2027.
Data leads the innovation
The Costain FEED team, operating out of Teesside and Manchester with partners px Group, used a variety of techniques and technologies to design the routing for the new carbon capture network. Key to the success was creating a new geographic information system (GIS) to act as a single source of truth to capture asset information and data from a variety of sources and stakeholders.
This included extensive use of laser scanning, topographical information, and ground investigations in order to document, for the first-time, the above-and-below ground assets at the site location.
Hughes added: “The digital footprint that has been generated for the area is pioneering. This is the first time that the assets, spanning across many decades, have been collectively documented, enabling us to design the integrated network accurately and safely. Not only does this knowledge help the many different stakeholders to work together effectively, but this digital footprint will be a legacy for the local industry and asset owners beyond completion of the project and first commercial operations in 2027.”
Ian Hunter, managing director, NZT, said: “Net Zero Teesside Power has an important role to play in helping the UK reach net zero, and could generate up to 860 megawatts of low carbon power – equivalent to the electricity requirements of around 1.3m UK homes. With Final Investment Decision fast approaching in September this year, we are delighted that Costain has completed the FEED stage which is an important milestone on our journey to deliver this world-first project.”
Chris Daykin, general manager, NEP, added: “The Northern Endurance Partnership’s onshore CO2 pipelines are essential to connect carbon intensive projects across Teesside to offshore storage and will play an important role in helping the region achieve net zero. Completion of the design of the onshore Teesside CO2 gathering network by Costain is a crucial milestone as we work towards Final Investment Decision in September this year.”
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