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Carbon capture is a well-established technology, with a significant number of facilities already operating successfully worldwide.

For sectors where carbon production is unavoidable, such as energy from waste (EfW), installing carbon capture technology is recognised as the most effective way to reduce CO2 emissions, capturing them at source rather than releasing them into the atmosphere.

To capture the CO2 emitted by our existing and in-development EfW facilities at Belvedere, we need to install a carbon capture plant and technology, together with associated infrastructure (including a new export jetty).

Once captured, this CO2 will be compressed and liquified on site, before being transferred by ship for safe storage in offshore sites under the North Sea.

By capturing around 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 a year, of which approximately 600,000 tonnes will be biogenic carbon (carbon dioxide absorbed by vegetation as it grows), Cory’s decarbonisation project will ensure the company achieves net zero, as well as significantly contribute to achieving the UK’s overall goal to be a net zero carbon economy by 2050.

Our proposed facility will capture CO2 emissions from Riverside 1 and Riverside 2 (once operational), and therefore needs to be located closely to these operations. There will need to be above ground interconnecting pipelines and ducting between the carbon capture facility (and its associated infrastructure) and Riverside 1 and Riverside 2.

The majority of the land being proposed for development is already being used by Cory. However, these proposals also involve building on two hectares of land (known as the East and Stable Paddocks) which currently form part of the Crossness Local Nature Reserve. The land is used for horse grazing and is not publicly accessible.

Cory is seeking to minimise the use of open land and habitat loss as a result of the project as well as proposing to increase the size of the managed Nature Reserve by up to six hectares.

Cory has undertaken a robust options process in developing its designs, which will be set out fully in its forthcoming Development Consent Order (DCO) application.

Cory’s Riverside campus is tightly constrained on all sides by dense industrial development, the River Thames, the Crossness Local Nature Reserve and other designations, including Metropolitan Open Land. The nature of carbon capture technology and its operation means it has to be located close to the source of the emissions. We have carefully considered and assessed whether we could avoid using part of the Crossness Local Nature Reserve, but the proposals we are putting forward represent the only feasible solution to achieving our carbon capture objectives whilst minimising construction and operational impacts on the natural environment as much as possible. This will be explained fully in our DCO application.

It is possible to use captured CO2 in industries such as food packaging and agriculture / horticulture. However, in the UK, there is already a substantial excess of CO2 available for use in these industries. This over supply means we need to safely store the CO2 we capture.

Cory has recently announced an exclusive commercial agreement with Viking CCS, a CO2 transportation and storage network based in the Humber. This partnership will explore the potential for the CO2 captured from Cory’s EfWs to be fed into Viking’s CO2 transportation and storage project. Once captured, the CO2 would be shipped to the Port of Immingham, ready for its onwards journey by pipeline for permanent storage in Viking’s depleted gas fields in the southern North Sea. Combined, the eight reservoirs in the Viking fields have the capacity to store over 300 million tonnes of captured CO2, with Viking aiming to store 10 million tonnes per year by 2030 1.

The transition to carbon capture and storage will be approached with rigorous operational safety standards. Any carbon storage project, its infrastructure and operation will be strictly regulated by the UK Government’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) and Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED).

Throughout all the phases of Viking’s operation, CO2 transportation, injection and its safe containment within the reservoirs will be carefully monitored using state of the art techniques (including geophysical surveys, pressure sensors, seabed surveys and dedicated monitoring wells).

The geological structures in which the captured CO2 will be stored have safely contained natural gases for millions of years. The reservoirs are deep below the surface of the seabed, beneath hundreds of metres of rock, making an impermeable layer that traps the gas in place. In this way, the CO2 will be safely and permanently stored in the same way as the original natural gas.

For well-selected, well-designed and well-managed geological storage sites, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that CO2 could be trapped for millions of years, with well-selected stores likely to retain over 99 per cent of the injected CO2 over 1,000 years.

1 Source: (2024)

The below table represents our preliminary assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions expected to arise during the construction phase of the Proposed Scheme. This can also be found in PEIR Volume 1: Chapter 13: Greenhouse Gases. This will be reviewed and updated as necessary in our Environmental Statement.

Note: Land use, land use change and forestry will be assessed in our Environmental Statement, which will be submitted as part of our DCO application.

Our proposals are not only to mitigate the loss of land within the Crossness Local Nature Reserve but also to provide improvements to biodiversity in the local area and access to open space(s) for local people. There are a range of opportunities within and around the site and also in Thamesmead. More information on these opportunities can be found on our website here

Examples being considered include extending the managed area of the Crossness Local Nature Reserve by up to six hectares and the provision of planted boundaries around the site to support its natural character. The extension would include incorporating the land owned by Peabody to the north of Eastern Way, that is currently inaccessible to the public, into the existing Reserve.

The former Thamesmead Golf Course could provide us with opportunities for creating or enhancing habitats in partnership with stakeholders in the local area to create biodiversity net gain.

The Belvedere Power Station Jetty has not been used for some time by its current owners and is in a state of disrepair. As a result, it is not suitable to use as part of our project. While it could be demolished in its entirety, we are also exploring how it might be retained as a heritage and ornithological asset, potentially providing a riverside nesting area and foraging habitat for bird species and other wildlife.

As part of our consultation we sought views on the future ecological or heritage role it could play and will consider all the comments we received as we continue to refine our plans for this asset.

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