UK supermajor BP has selected two consortiums of heavyweight engineering and construction contractors to battle it out in a front-end engineering and design contest to provide major elements of the East Coast Cluster industrial decarbonisation scheme in the UK.

One grouping is led by Aker Solutions Doosan Babcock with Siemens Energy and includes Aker Carbon Capture as a sub-contractor for CO2 capture technology.

The other is led by Technip Energies with GE Gas Power and also includes Shell Catalysts & Technologies as a sub-contractor for CO2 capture technology and Balfour Beatty as the construction partner.

In October, the UK government selected the East Coast Cluster — which will take emissions from both the Teesside and Humber regions — as one of the first two UK carbon capture and storage (CCUS) to be taken forward in its cluster sequencing process.

The two contractor groups will now design and submit development plans for a full-scale gas fired-power station with integrated carbon capture power, called NZT Power, proposed to be at the centre of the BP-led Net Zero Teesside project.

They will also work on the high-pressure carbon dioxide compression and export facilities being developed for the Teesside element of the East Coast Cluster by the Northern Endurance Partnership.

Both groupings will deliver separate FEED packages over the next 12 months before submitting engineering, procurement and construction proposals for the execution phase.

Only one will be selected to take the project forward into construction when a final investment decision is reached in 2023.

Norwegian contractor Aker Solutions and engineering and construction company Doosan Babcock said in March they were forming a partnership to deliver low-carbon and renewable projects in the UK.

Northern Endurance

The Northern Endurance Partnership — a joint venture between BP, Equinor, National Grid Ventures, Shell and TotalEnergies — is co-ordinating the East Coast Cluster and will provide the common infrastructure needed to transport carbon dioxide from Net Zero Teesside and the Equinor-led Zero Carbon Humber project located further south for storage below the North Sea.

Louise Kingham, BP's UK country head and senior vice president of Europe, said: “Moving to FEED is a major step forward for NZT Power and the development of the Northern Endurance Partnership.

“This first-of-a-kind project has the potential to deliver enough low carbon, flexible electricity to power around 1.3 million homes, and can help secure Teesside’s position at the green heart of the country’s energy transition.”

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Andy Lane, managing director of Northern Endurance Partnership, said: “The Northern Endurance Partnership will play a key role in the UK’s journey to net zero, by providing the transportation and storage infrastructure which enables the decarbonization of a range of industries across Teesside and the Humber too.

“Today’s news is a clear signal of momentum within the East Coast Cluster following our selection in October as one of the UK’s first two carbon capture and storage clusters by the UK government.”

Ewan Drummond, BP’s senior vice president, projects, said: “The signing of the dual FEED contracts today is the culmination of an extensive market engagement process over the past 18 months, and we are excited to be working with the selected Aker and Technip UK-led consortiums.

“Our contracting strategy enables early selection of carbon capture licensors and power providers along with EPC and construction contractors to minimize the technology and execution risks whilst allowing each consortium to differentiate themselves in their designs and execution approaches.”

According to BP, the project is expected to provide “low-carbon electricity to complement the growing deployment of intermittent forms of renewable energy such as wind and solar”.

The contracts also include FEED for the Northern Endurance Partnership’s Teesside facilities that will gather and compress CO2 from the power station and elsewhere and export it offshore for permanent sub-surface storage in the Endurance reservoir below the North Sea.

NZT Power expects to submit a bid in January for selection as part of the second phase of the UK government’s carbon capture, usage and storage cluster sequencing process.