A landmark agreement on the development of clean coal technology with carbon dioxide capture and storage has been signed between the UK and China.

The near Zero Emissions Coal (nZEC) project aims to demonstrate coal-fired power generation with carbon capture and storage technology in both China and the EU by 2020.

The UK is leading the first phase of the demonstration project with £3.5 million ($6.1 million) of funding from Defra and the DTI. The three-year feasibility study will examine the viability of different technology options for the capture of carbon dioxide emissions from power generation for geological storage in China. The UK will tender for the work required in the feasibility stage under Phase 1 and will be looking for expressions of interest early in 2006.