The team at Sizewell C is working on much more than the new nuclear power station, they’re also developing a number of clean technologies to help tackle climate change.

There is a sleek new structure being built at the Port of Lowestoft that could play a significant part in Britain’s energy future. 

Sizewell C – in partnership with University of Birmingham, Helical Energy, AtkinsRéalis and Altrad Babcock – is now constructing a new Direct Air Capture (DAC) demonstrator plant capable of extracting 100 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year. 

READ MORE: Sizewell C Community Fund invests £23m in East Suffolk

If trials with the new plant are successful, a future scaled-up version linked to the Sizewell C power plant could be capable of capturing a massive 1.5m tonnes of CO2 each year – that would be like removing the total emissions of the UK’s rail network for a whole year. 

“It’s a pretty amazing project to have right here on the Port of Lowestoft,” says Paul Ager, divisional port manager for Associated British Ports’ activities in East Anglia. 

“Lowestoft is an important and growing hub for supporting green offshore wind energy and we’re proud to be hosting the beginning of this further chapter in the UK’s attempt to mitigate climate change.”

Until recently, the idea of literally capturing carbon from the air was seen as something for the future. However, in countries around the world, significant investment is being made to bring Direct Air Capture projects to life. 

Jack Raven of Sizewell CJack Raven of Sizewell C (Image: Sizewell C)

“We know that it’s a technology we have to perfect – and soon,” says Jack Raven of Sizewell C, “and this demonstrator plant at the Port of Lowestoft puts us in advanced position on that journey.” 

Direct Air Capture is not a silver bullet for climate change, says Jack, but by developing the UK’s energy infrastructure so that it can both reduce and remove carbon, we’ll have found a powerful way to achieve net zero. 

“Capturing carbon doesn’t mean we can keep pumping it back into the atmosphere with old world technologies. We have to keep developing low-carbon projects and technologies to keep pace with the staggering climate changes we’re seeing globally every year – and Direct Air Capture could be an important part of the mix.” 

A CGI of Sizewell C power stationA CGI of Sizewell C power station (Image: Sizewell C)

Sizewell C is progressing well, with construction underway on site and a nuclear site licence granted in May.

The power station itself will prevent around nine million tonnes of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere each year and will deliver green skills for the region. 
Alongside Direct Air Capture, Sizewell C aims to kickstart a number of clean technologies, including harnessing hydrogen as fuel for machines and transport during the construction phase.  

“We’ll be taking on a pilot of four hydrogen buses in the summer,” says Jack. “That should prove the use case for us and start us on the journey to a full fleet of up to 150 hydrogen powered buses. 

“That would be quite an achievement: hydrogen-powered transport moving our workforce to where it needs to be with zero tailpipe emissions. And that could go some way to really kick-starting the hydrogen economy in East Suffolk and helping to build a cleaner transport network.” 

READ MORE: How Sizewell C is creating a team to build a power station

In the meantime, Sizewell C and its partners in the DAC consortium are looking forward to completing construction of the DAC plant in Lowestoft later this year. 

“It will be an exciting moment to see the plant complete,” says Jack. “It will be like having a piece of the future on our doorstep.” 

Sizewell C will be sharing news about the results of the demonstrator plant later in the year. 

If you want to find out more about Sizewell C’s plans for net zero technologies, check out the website at

(Image: Newsquest)

This article is part of the EADT's Clean & Green campaign, which aims to promote our region as the biggest in the UK and Europe for all forms of renewable energy.