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Insights and Stories

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Global Audience Hears about Sembcorp's Involvement in Plans to Decarbonise UK Energy System

November 02, 2020

Andy Koss, CEO UK & Middle East, has given a global online audience an insight into how Sembcorp is playing its part in decarbonising the UK’s energy system.

He cited the example of our pioneering entry into biomass power production 13 years ago to highlight Sembcorp’s early transition towards a low carbon, renewables future.

Andy then went on to discuss how our fleet of fast-responding gas engines and battery storage assets are helping to ensure the stability of an increasingly volatile UK grid system, in turn supporting the continuous growth in renewables.

Andy was speaking at the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) virtual conference and was one of a number of industry leaders brought together by the British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore to discuss the realities and opportunities of decarbonisation in the context of the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference – also known as COP26 – that will now be held in Glasgow next November.

He explained how our £65 million W10 facility had pioneered large scale biomass power production in the UK, utilising 300,000 of wood from responsibly managed forests and forms of recycled wood to generate 35MW of power.

Its development enabled Wilton International to move away from its previous dependency on coal-fired power production and still ensure reliability for industrial customers. He also explained how the learning from the experience of managing biomass as a fuel had been shared with colleagues in Singapore who were at the time developing their own co-generation plant.

Additionally, Andy went on to talk through the need for the UK to combine renewables and storage to provide a complementary energy system that supports the path to Net-Zero 2050, and explained that Sembcorp Energy UK is supportive of the Net Zero Teesside Project that is looking to decarbonise industry in the area by 2030.

As part of the roundtable discussion, Colin McGill, project director of Net Zero Teesside, elaborated on how the project and others like it around the world – with the necessary Government support – would be vital to meeting the UN’s Paris Agreement (calling for actions to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels).

Also contributing to the discussion was Willie Reid of the University of Strathclyde, who talked about the Acorn Project to secure carbon storage in the North Sea.

Andy said:

“It was a worthwhile discussion that provided a platform to showcase the role Sembcorp is playing in creating a more sustainable future.”

Andy’s input into the panel debate at the SIEW event can be viewed here, beginning at 2:08:00 onwards).