Lawrence Solomon: Carbon burial scheme goes under

(Dec. 13, 2010) The UK’s first commercial scale CCS facility – a plant at a colliery in Yorkshire that would capture carbon and then pump it for burial in old gas-wells under the North Sea – has itself gone under after failing to raise the £635 million needed to fund its construction.

The high flying operation, jointly owned by flamboyant mining entrepreneur Richard Budge of the UK and KRU, Russia’s second biggest coal company, seemed to hit pay dirt last year with a life-saving £164 million in EU funding. According to its 2009 annual report, it had been unable to meet loan repayments to its banks and its auditors, Baker Tilly, indicated there was “material uncertainty” as to whether the company would be able to continue as a going concern.

The EU rescue was designed to carry the concern until it qualified for subsidies from the UK or elsewhere. The enterprise is now under administration, a form of bankruptcy, in the hopes that a buyer can be found.

For an illustration of the sprawling facility, see here.

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and the author of The Deniers.

Financial Post, December 13, 2010

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