5th April 2024

UK’s first full-scale carbon capture plant for EfW is in final negotiations with Government

Encyclis has announced a major leap forward in its industry-leading plan to develop the UK’s first energy-from-waste facility with carbon capture. The company has signed a Statement of Principles with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) to formalise commercial plans for the development of a carbon capture facility at the Protos Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) near Ellesmere Port, in Cheshire.


The announcement means Encyclis, a leading owner and operator of energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities, can progress into final negotiations with DESNZ.

This will enable Encyclis to push forward its plans to construct a carbon capture plant capable of preventing around 350,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year – equivalent to taking around 200,000 cars off the road.

Utilising the planned HyNet pipeline, the CO2 captured at the plant will be transported for storage in depleted gas fields in Liverpool Bay.

The carbon capture plant will serve Protos ERF, which is currently being constructed by joint owners Encyclis and Biffa.

Today’s announcement could enable the ERF to fulfil its essential public hygiene function by converting unrecyclable waste into baseload electricity and recovering resources for reuse, while going beyond net-zero by achieving negative emissions – which reduces the overall amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The Protos ERF carbon capture project, which forms part of the HyNet North West network, was selected in 2023 to progress under Track 1 of Government’s  cluster sequencing programme.

Since then, Encyclis has been working closely with officials at DESNZ to determine the commercial and technical details of the project.

Encyclis CEO Owen Michaelson said: “The announcement of a Statement in Principle for this first EfW carbon capture plant represents a huge milestone for a project that we’re extremely proud to be driving forward with our partners. The progression of this project will be a big win for UK PLC and should help create significant competitive advantage for UK industry by delivering the knowhow, the IP and new supply chain opportunities in our industrial heartlands.”

The news was also welcomed by Andy Bedford, Low-Carbon Development Director at Encyclis, who said: “We now have a set of parameters within which to work through the remaining details of the plan in this final stage of negotiations. If the project goes ahead, it will put us firmly on the path to bring forward the first project of its kind in the UK. This project aims to help drive sustainable economic growth and green jobs in the North West and provides a springboard for further decarbonisation across the UK’s wider energy-from-waste fleet. The work we have done with DESNZ over the past 12 months has established a new template for future projects to follow.”

Mick Davis, Biffa's Chief Operating Officer (Resources & Energy), said: "We are committed to helping our customers reduce their carbon emissions. As part owner and key supplier into Protos ERF, the development of carbon capture at the facility is an important part of that strategy. We are delighted to see the project moving forward into final negotiations.”