The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has withdrawn funding from the country’s most advanced carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, which would have been implemented at Scotland’s 2.4 GW Longannet coal fired power plant.

DECC will now pursue other projects with the £1bn ($1.6bn) earmarked for the project and will meet industry leaders on 2 November to discuss further steps.

The Longannet scheme, which has been ongoing for four years, was by far the UK’s most advanced CCS project after E.ON backed out of plans to build a coal fired station with prototype CCS technology at Kingsnorth in Kent.

Negotiations over the Longannet project between DECC and the CCS Consortium – of ScottishPower, National Grid and Shell – were reported to have broken down two weeks ago over investment costs.

The consortium described Longannet project as “the most detailed and comprehensive design of a commercial-scale end-to-end CCS project ever conducted in the UK or Europe”.

“Our combined efforts have seen this potentially world-changing technology develop from being a concept in a laboratory to a definitive blueprint that could be implemented,” said ScottishPower’s generation director, Hugh Finlay, speaking on behalf of the consortium.

Dr Jeff Chapman, chief executive of the Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA), described DECC’s decision as “clearly disappointing” but claimed that Longannet’s failure was due to its specific circumstances rather than the unfavourable economics of CCS.

Out of 13 projects submitted for European funding, seven were from the UK compared to one each from other member states,” he said

“Longannet was one of the seven consortia competing to develop projects – the remaining six projects remain viable and are proceeding at pace.”

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