Atkins appointed to support development of Teesside net zero power plant

CGI of the proposed Whitetail clean energy power plant at Wilton International, Teesside.

Whitetail Clean Energy (Whitetail) has appointed Atkins to support the development and implementation of its proposed 300 megawatts (MW) NET Power station at Wilton International, Teesside.

Atkins will work with Whitetail project proposers; US clean energy innovation firm 8 Rivers Capital, acting through its UK affiliate, Zero Degrees Whitetail Development Ltd., and Sembcorp Energy UK (SEUK), along with NET Power, LLC, to develop the UK’s first Net Zero emissions power station at the Wilton International site on Teesside.

The proposed 300MW NET Power plant will capture and store its carbon emissions in secure geological formations deep under the North Sea and the appointment will progress Whitetail to be operational as soon as 2025.

For the contract, Atkins will support Whitetail as the owner’s engineer through the design phases to financial close. Atkins will also provide an on-site presence to monitor, supervise and manage the construction and commissioning phase.

Whitetail is expected to utilise the NET Power technology, which combusts natural gas with oxygen, rather than air, and uses supercritical CO2 as a working fluid to drive a turbine instead of steam. As a result, near all air emissions, including traditional pollutants and CO2, are eliminated and pipeline quality CO2 is produced so that it can be captured and stored offshore.

The proposed location at Sembcorp Energy UK’s site at Wilton International already offers convenient port and pipeline access, meaning that all Whitetail’s captured CO2 can be easily transported to UK sequestration sites. 8 Rivers Capital completed a Pre-FEED study for UK deployments of the NET Power technology earlier this year with funding from the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Whitetail will also be in the vanguard of investment into a number of objectives of the UK government’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, and is expected to bring inward investment into the clean power sector supporting over 2,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, including cascading supply chain opportunities during the construction phase of the project.

Cam Hosie, chief executive of 8 Rivers Capital, said: “The appointment of Atkins to the owner’s engineer role represents another key step towards Whitetail becoming a reality and clearly marks the start of an acceleration in the deployment of NET Power plants in the United Kingdom. Whitetail will provide dispatchable clean power alongside renewable energy to help the UK meet its collective climate goals and we are delighted that Atkins will be working with us on this innovative infrastructure project of national significance.

Andy Koss, CEO of UK and Middle East, Sembcorp Industries, said: “Whitetail Clean Energy represents a first-of-a-kind carbon capture technology and we are pleased that Atkins will be helping us bring this to Teesside. Whitetail embodies our commitment to reducing the carbon emissions of our power generation assets at Wilton International and to supporting the development of sustainable solutions both in the region and for the UK.”

Chris Ball, managing director – nuclear and power, Atkins EMEA, added: “With a long-standing history in the region, this project will bring together our local expertise with a global capability in sustainable best practice to deliver Engineering Net Zero. We look forward to working closely with Whitetail Clean Energy to support the development of this new innovative technology and deliver a route to clean and affordable power for the Teesside region.”

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