The Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) recently published an information memorandum setting out the terms of its carbon capture and storage (CCS) competition, which will be limited to post-combustion capture systems. BERR is seeking proposals for a commercial scale CCS system that will capture at least 90 per cent of the carbon dioxide emissions from a coal-fired power station of at least 300 megawatt (MW) capacity and transport it for storage in rocks under the seabed. The plant should be operational by 2014, although phased proposals capturing and storing emissions from 50-100MW plant by 2014 will be considered.

A decision on the competition is not expected until 2009. The successful proponent will have its capital costs covered as well as its operating costs for at least 15 years.

Meanwhile, the Energy Bill has recently been introduced into parliament. Among other matters, it establishes a framework for the licensing of offshore carbon dioxide storage and the enforcement of the licence provisions.