Hawkins Construction to build UK's largest carbon capture plant

Skelmersdale-based Hawkins Construction has been appointed the principal contractor of what will become the UK's largest carbon capture and utilisation plant.

The £16.7m project will be delivered on behalf of Tata Chemicals Europe at a site in Northwich, Cheshire. 

The plant will remove carbon dioxide from TCE’s combined heat and power plant emissions. The gas will then be purified and liquified for use in the manufacture of sodium bicarbonate. The TCE site is the largest single site user of carbon dioxide in the UK, and is set to capture emissions equivalent to 22,000 cars being taken off the road, contributing to the UK government’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Hawkins will be responsible for the civil works, including preparation of a site the equivalent size of a football pitch and piling to a depth of 13m, the steelworks using steel that weighs the equivalent of a large passenger aeroplane, and installing the processing equipment.

Ben Birchall, commercial director, said: "This is a strategically important project for all stakeholders; to the UK on its pathway to net zero emissions and for Tata as the company aims to reduce emissions and provide a critical raw material. This project is a major win for Hawkins, as it supports our expansion and demonstrates our ability to deliver clean growth projects on behalf of our clients.

“We’ve been looking to build our project portfolio in the clean growth and chemicals sector for a number of years, and this venture is the culmination of this effort. There is a stringent timeline to this project, and I’m confident that our highly experienced team will deliver in time and within budget, whilst also ensuring that the health and safety of all those on the site continues to be of paramount importance.

This is a strategically important project to the UK on its pathway to net zero emissions

Hawkins has previously worked on projects in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing sector for clients including Heinz, AstraZeneca, Weetabix, Thornton & Ross, Dairy Crest and British Salt.

Ladan Iravanian, project director at TCE said: “We first worked with Hawkins in 2018 at our British Salt manufacturing site. The project they completed for us at this time was implemented extremely well, and we are pleased to be working with Ben and the Hawkins team again as we deliver this hugely exciting carbon capture and utilisation project."

  • For further Lancashire business news, advice and analysis subscribe to Lancashire Business View or join the LBV Hub from just £2.50 per month. Click here to subscribe now.