Drax said it remained committed to fulfilling its current work on the feasibility and technology development of the project, but would not be investing further and will withdraw as a partner of Capture Power Ltd, the developer of the White Rose CCS project.
However it will continue to make the site owned by Drax, along with the infrastructure at the Power Plant, available for the project to be built.
Drax Group Operations Director, and Capture Power Board Director, Pete Emery said the decision was based purely on, "a drastically different financial and regulatory environment and we must put the interests of the business and our shareholders first."
Capture Power said it was still committed to the delivery of the project. Leigh Hackett, CEO of Capture Power, commented, "Drax’s decision not to invest further in the Project is disappointing, but we are keen to confirm that Capture Power remains committed to delivering the White Rose CCS Project. We can also confirm that we continue to work constructively with Drax on land, site services and shared infrastructure aspects to support the Project’s delivery."
The announcement puts in doubt whether the White Rose Project can continue to participate in the UK Goverment's £1 billion CCS competition.
Dr Luke Warren, Chief Executive of the CCSA, commented, "While it is disappointing news for Drax that they will not be participating as an investor in White Rose, it is clearly positive that they recognise the value of this exciting project and are fully behind its development at the Drax site. It is also encouraging to hear that Capture Power remains committed to the delivery of the project and the UK CCS commercialisation programme. White Rose is key to delivering real benefits to the Yorkshire and Humber region by developing the CO2 infrastructure that provides the foundation for a low-carbon industry in the region."
"The coming months are absolutely critical for CCS in the UK and the Government must successfully deliver two projects from the CCS competition in order to achieve its goals of delivering a cost-competitive CCS industry in the 2020s. Failure to secure this investment will set back CCS by more than a decade with profound implications for the UK's energy, industrial and climate policies."
"This development is symptomatic of the wider challenges facing the energy market and highlights the importance of Government establishing the regulatory and market framework that can secure the required investment. Government has to come forward and provide clarity on its intention for CCS."