The two preferred bidders from the UK's £1bn CCS Commercialisation Programme Competition were announced on 21 March.

The two preferred bidders that have been selected for funding as a result of the UK’s £1bn Carbon Capture and Storage Commercialisation Programme Competition were announced on 21 March by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. They are the Peterhead Project in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and the White Rose Project in Yorkshire, England.

CCS technology, if developed at scale, could allow the safe removal and storage of carbon dioxide emissions from coal and gas fired power stations and heavy industry, to help the UK meet its climate change targets. Secretary of state for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey said: "These two are major infrastructure projects potentially worth several billion pounds and could support thousands of construction jobs over the next few years. "We had four excellent bids … but we will now be working swiftly to progress our preferred two, while making sure we continue to provide the best possible value to taxpayers."

Energy Minister John Hayes said: "We are working quickly to our goal of a cost competitive CCS industry – and
these projects are just the start. In the past year we have demonstrated there is significant appetite from industry to invest in UK CCS, providing jobs and investment opportunities. It is my intention to work with industry, beyond these two projects, to ensure we have further CCS projects by the end of the decade – supported by the innovative changes we are making to the energy market to encourage investment in low carbon electricity. I am also very pleased that these two projects offer us the opportunity to ensure that both gas and coal generation have a hugely reduced impact on our carbon emissions."

The two projects in detail:

Peterhead Project in Aberdeenshire, Scotland is a project that involves capturing around 90% of the carbon dioxide from part of the existing gas fired power station at Peterhead before transporting it and storing it in a depleted gas field beneath the North Sea. The project involves Shell and Scottish and Southern Energy.

White Rose Project in Yorkshire, England is a project to capture 90% of the carbon dioxide from a new 426MW coal oal-fired power station at the Drax site in North Yorkshire with the added ability to co-fire sustainable biomass. It will be fully equipped with CCS technology from the outset, the CO2 to be transported by pipeline for permanent storage in a saline aquifer deep beneath the North Sea seabed. The project consortium consists of Alstom, Drax Power, BOC and National Grid.

The government will now undertake discussions to agree terms by the summer for Front End Engineering Design studies, which will last approximately 18 months. A final investment decision will be taken by the government in early 2015 on the construction of up to two projects.

Captain Clean Energy and Teesside Low Carbon, the remaining two bidders with whom the Government has been in discussion, will be appointed as reserve projects. These bids may be called to participate in the next stage of the
competition if one or both of the preferred bidders fails to enter into a FEED Contract by the summer.