The White Rose Carbon Capture and Storage Project

Background 

The White Rose Carbon Capture and Storage Project was a proposal put forward by Alstom, Drax Power and BOC to build and operate a 448MW coal-fired power station with functional carbon capture and storage (CCS) capabilities from the outset within the boundaries of the existing Drax Power Station site in North Yorkshire.

Key project information

  • White Rose was planned as the first power station in the UK to employ CCS on a commercial scale
  • As a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) the scheme requires a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Secretary of State under the Planning Act 2008
  • The scheme would also act as a test bed for new technology and as such was to receive major government funding

How we assisted

We have been supporting Drax for several years and were commissioned to develop and implement the DCO consultation. It was imperative that stakeholder engagement strategy conformed with the consultation requirements prescribed in the Planning Act 2008 and the Localism Act 2011. A wide range of communication tools was employed to ensure both community and statutory stakeholders were fully informed about the development and were given the opportunity to express their opinion.

One of the major challenges was the high level of technology involved and the fact that much of it was untested. As such it was crucial that any consultation plan was supported by an advocacy programme, which would gain endorsement from relevant stakeholders and major influencers such as renowned academics.

To aid this a consultation strategy was devised and agreed with the White Rose project team, which identified local stakeholders, their interests and their influencers. To utilise the goodwill Drax had developed locally by being a major employer, meet the buyer event, community liaison groups and relations with the relevant Trades Unions were developed. Alongside this programme we developed all the mechanics and communications around the DCO key milestones, including the non-statutory consultation, SoCC, statutory consultation and the consultation report.

Outcome

The White Rose DCO application was accepted by the Planning Inspectorate in December 2014. The Planning Inspectorate judged that pre-application stakeholder engagement had met with government guidelines and was of a satisfactory standard.