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SNC-Lavalin appointed to ETI project to develop a generic business case for a gas power plant with CCS design

Energy Technologies Institute

4 min read Partner content

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has appointed engineering and construction group SNC-Lavalin to a new project to develop a generic business case for developing a gas-fired power plant fitted with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

  • ETI will invest £650,000 in the nine month project

  • The project will develop an outline scheme and ‘template’ gas power plant design, identify potential sites and build a credible cost base for such a scheme

  • AECOM and the University of Sheffield will also work on the project

They will work with global infrastructure services firm AECOM and the University of Sheffield’s Energy 2050 Institute on the nine month project, which will see the ETI invest £650,000.

The ETI’s whole energy system modelling work has shown that CCS is one of the most cost effective technologies to help the UK meet its 2050 CO2 reduction targets. Without it the energy system cost in 2050 could be £30bn per annum higher.

Back in June 2015 the ETI launched a request for proposals for a Thermal Power with CCS (TPwCCS) project, which aimed to accelerate the development of a low cost, low risk ‘Phase 2’ CCS project which could follow on from the then Government-backed ‘Phase 1’ CCS commercialisation competition projects.  Following the Government’s decision not to proceed with the competition the ETI has been reshaping the TPwCCS project to reflect the new circumstances.  This new project will support the creation of a business case for a large scale gas with CCS power plant.

The business case will develop an outline scheme and a ‘template’ power plant design (Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) with post combustion capture), identify potential sites in key UK industrial hubs and build a credible cost base for such a scheme, benchmarked as far as possible against actual project data and as-built plant.

Thus the project is wholly aligned with and will provide a critical evidence base for the vision set out in the recent Parliamentary Advisory Group on CCS report – “Lowest cost decarbonisation for the UK : the critical role of CCS”.

Andrew Green, ETI CCS Programme Manager said:

“There is broad consensus that the UK power system needs to be largely decarbonised by the early 2030s to enable any material decarbonisation of heat and transport to be viable thereafter. CCS has a key role to play in decarbonising the power sector, and with a strong history in oil, gas and power skills, the UK is well placed to lead the world in the development of CCS.

Since the Government’s decision not to proceed with the CCS competition we have carried out a range of different analyses around potential ways forward.  They confirm that the most cost-effective and secure way to meet these needs is to move forward as soon as reasonably possible with a strategically-placed, large-scale gas with CCS power project.  We were delighted that the way forward for CCS proposed by the Parliamentary Advisory Group on CCS in its recent report was fully aligned with our analysis, and we expect this project to provide further concrete evidence on the cost-effectiveness of CCS.

Delay in the implementation of CCS could cost £1 – 2bn per annum in the 2020s, rising to £4 – 5bn by 2040.

Stakeholders in CCS will need compelling evidence of the business case for a new power with CCS project which is why we are taking this project forward – to add to this evidence base.”

Alan McLean, Executive Vice-President, FEED & Engineering, SNC-Lavalin said: “We are delighted with this contract award from the ETI, which enables us to leverage our CCGT and CCS experience from around the globe. With the recent release of the Lord Oxburgh chaired report on CCS, this study will be a catalyst, to both promote further discussion and present real options to address the low carbon economy in the UK.”

Earlier this year the ETI published a report which reinforced the importance of CCS to a UK low carbon energy system and identified an effective way of reducing costs by deploying existing technology and utilising shared infrastructure, rather than investment in further technology advances.

The report, infographic and explanatory video can be found at


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