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CCU Project Breaks Ground

CCU project breaks ground

Development of the ground-breaking Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) Demonstration plant at our Winnington site kicked off in earnest last month. Look out for regular bulletins we will post here to share the progress of this high-profile project.

Following months of design and engineering work with Pentair Union Engineering – and several years of project planning by our project team, supported by Axis PED – we started preparing the ground for the construction of the UK’s largest plant CCU plant in March ‘20.

The first step was to demolish redundant industrial buildings on the CCU plant site, which sits adjacent to the combined heat and power (CHP) plant. The location is vital, as the CHP plant generates emissions gases when it makes steam and electricity for our operational sites in Northwich that will be used by the CCU plant. The timelapse video on the left shows the progress of the project in March ’20.

Although the project’s start date coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak and a national lockdown, we have been able to continue to make substantial progress, as the products Tata Chemicals Europe manufactures are vital raw materials that are essential to many industries. (For more information on this please click here).


To help ready the ground for the installation of the carbon capture plant, over 10,000 tonnes of stone from our demolition work nearby has been used. Alongside the preparation of the land, March also saw the first equipment delivered to the site with two compressors arriving from Belgium pictured on the right.

When operational, the CCU will capture carbon dioxide from the CHP emissions. Once captured, the gas is then purified, liquified and stored ready to be used as a raw material in the manufacture of sodium bicarbonate. In April, three tanks each capable of storing 200 tonnes of liquified carbon dioxide arrived at the construction site. The picture on the bottom left shows the tanks leaving Turkey for transfer by sea and land.

Over the coming months, we will be working closely with Hawkins Construction to lay the foundations and steel frameworks required to support and house the process equipment.

The major process vessels are due to arrive on site in June, this includes the absorber column and stripper tower which, due to their size, will arrive in sections before being joined together and lifted into place, this lift is set to take place in late August or early September.

Once these major elements of the process are in place, the remaining process equipment will be installed with the mechanical and electrical install set to start in Autumn.


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