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Humber carbon capture scheme 'may create 49,000 jobs'

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  • Climate change
image copyrightPA
image captionDrax power station near Selby in North Yorkshire produces 7% of the UK's electricity

Developing technology to capture and store harmful climate-changing emissions may create up to 49,000 jobs, a report suggests.

The Drax Group, which commissioned the report, said some of the jobs, earmarked for the Humber region, "could be created as early as 2024".

The firm owns the UK's largest power station in Selby, North Yorkshire, and is testing carbon capture techniques.

An MP said it was "critical" people had the skills needed for the jobs.

image copyrightDrax
image captionThe report estimates the green industries would generate up to £3bn for the regional economy in 2027

The report by Vivid Economics, titled Capturing Carbon at Drax: Delivering Jobs, Clean Growth and Levelling Up the Humber, comes as the government unveiled plans to tackle climate change, cut emissions and create jobs in green industries.

In their analysis, researchers predicts the work could create "around 25,000 high quality roles in construction - as well as welders, pipe fitters, machine installers and technicians; with a further 24,000 supported across the supply chain and wider economy in 2027".

In February 2019, Drax started a pilot project to capture one tonne a day of CO2 from its wood combustion, using technology known as Bio Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS).

The company burns seven million tonnes of wood chips each year to drive generators to make electricity.

image copyrightDaniel Lewis
image captionDrax Group CEO Will Gardiner: "This would deliver a real shot in the arm to communities struggling as a result of the Covid crisis"

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said it would be a huge boost to the economy.

"The technologies are ready to go, so tens of thousands of jobs could be created as early as 2024," he said.

It would help "communities struggling as a result of the Covid crisis" and not be limited to the Humber region, Mr Gardiner added.

"This could kickstart a whole new industry in the UK, enabling us to show the world what can be achieved for the environment and the economy when governments, businesses and communities work together."

MP for Great Grimsby Lia Nici said: "Ensuring local people have the skills needed to take full advantage of the opportunities created by these new energy technologies is critical.

"The government as well as businesses, training providers, schools, colleges and communities must come together to support this initiative, so we're ready to make the proposals a reality."

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