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Two north of England sites selected for multibillion-pound carbon capture plan

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Two north of England sites selected for multibillion-pound carbon capture plan

The UK government has selected two sites in the north of England to develop multibillion-pound carbon capture projects by the middle of the decade as part of its fast-track scheme to cut 20-30m tonnes of CO2 a year from heavy industry by 2030.

Ministers gave the green light to the East Coast Cluster, which plans to capture and store emissions produced across the Humber and Teesside, and the HyNet North West project in Liverpool Bay, which will also produce low carbon hydrogen from fossil gas.

The East Coast Cluster is backed by the oil companies BP and Equinor, together with the energy firms Drax and SSE, and hopes to cut up to 27m tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030. The HyNet project, backed by the Italian oil company Eni and Progressive Energy, plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 10m tonnes a year by the end of the decade.

The projects, which saw off competition from three rivals, are the first to move ahead with the government’s support since ministers scrapped a £1bn programme six years ago. If they can prove they offer energy billpayers good value for money then they will qualify for support through the new £1bn carbon capture fund.

Greg Hands, the energy minister, told parliament on Tuesday that carbon capture would be “essential to meeting our net zero ambitions” and would be “an exciting new industry to capture the carbon we continue to emit and revitalise the birthplaces of the first Industrial Revolution”.

He said the “new major infrastructure projects for a new sector of the economy” would be a “significant undertaking”, and that there were “significant risks” to delivering them by the mid-2020s.

The government has also earmarked a carbon capture cluster on the east coast of Scotland – that includes the Acorn carbon capture and storage project based north of Aberdeen – as a “reserve cluster” that will be eligible for the funds if one of the other projects fails.

The government vowed to bring forward two industrial carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s, and four by 2030, to help capture the emissions produced by factories and chemical plants before storing the carbon away permanently where it cannot contribute to the heating of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Carbon capture is also expected to play a key role in producing “clean-burning” hydrogen from fossil gas. Hydrogen can be extracted from gas and burned without emissions by gas power plants, heavy industry or even in homes. But the process of producing hydrogen releases carbon emissions into the air unless it is captured at the source and stored.

The plans are part of a flurry of long-awaited green commitments from the government in the run-up to the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow in the next two weeks. It has also put forward plans to help cut emissions from home heating alongside a wide-ranging plan to reach net zero across the economy.

Ruth Herbert, the chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, said the two frontrunner projects would “showcase the breadth of applications” for carbon capture, but urged the government to set out a clear plan for how the technology would be scaled up in coming decades to meet carbon targets.

“Ahead of next week’s spending review, we are calling for the government to introduce a delivery plan for carbon capture, utilisation and storage – setting annual spending budgets over the next decade to give the industry certainty to invest in projects now,” she said.

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New Naira Notes Ready For Issuance- CBN

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said the newly redesigned Naira notes are already in banks and ready for issuance.

In a statement on its official twitter handle, the CBN quoted Emefiele to have made the disclosure in Daura, Katsina State, while on a visit to brief the president on the Naira redesign and the recently reintroduced cashless policy.

“The newly redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes are now in banks and ready for issuance to members of the public,” the statement said.

The CBN governor clarified that the currency redesign and reintroduced cashless policies were not targeted at anybody but were for the good and development of the Nigerian economy, and urged Nigerians to embrace the various electronic channels available for banking and financial service transactions in Nigeria.

Emefiele further said the CBN deferred the cashless policy severally to prepare and deepen Nigeria’s payments system infrastructure.

He, therefore, advised Nigerians to take their old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes to the banks before the January 31, 2023 deadline.

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NIBSS Says e-Payment Transactions Hit N38.9trn In November

The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) has revealed that transactions worth N38.9 trillion were performed electronically in November through the NIBSS Instant Payment platform (NIP).

This is the highest monthly transaction record on the platform.

Compared with the N34.5 trillion recorded in the preceding month, the November figure also shows a 12.7 per cent increase.

The latest data also shows that the November figure brought the total value of NIP deals in the last 11 months to N345 trillion.

Year on year, the e-payment value increased by 50 per cent compared with the N25.9 trillion recorded in November last year.

The value of the e-payment recorded was a reflection of the increase in the volume of deals within the month. The NIP volume rose to 492.2 million in November, showing a 53.8 per cent increase over the N319.9 million recorded in the same period last year.

The NIP is an account-number-based, online-real-time Inter-Bank payment solution developed in the year 2011 by NIBSS. It is the Nigerian financial industry’s preferred funds transfer platform that guarantees instant value to the beneficiary.

According to NIBSS, over the years, Nigerian banks have exposed NIP through their various channels, that is, internet banking, bank branch, Kiosks, mobile apps, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), POS, ATMs, etc. to their customers.

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CBN Insists It Won’t Reverse New Withdrawal Policy

Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank, says there would be no reversal on the new cash withdrawal policy adding that the limitations was not intended to hurt anyone.

He disclosed this on Thursday following his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State.

The National Assembly had earlier faulted the CBN’s unveiling of revised cash withdrawal limits with a maximum of N100,000 for individuals and N500,000 for companies, claiming that it might worsen the current economic situation.

But while reacting to the objections from the National Assembly and the public outcry over the cash withdrawal policy, Emefiele said;

“And we think Nigeria, as the biggest economy in Africa, needs to leapfrog into the cashless economy.

“We cannot continue to allow a situation where over 85 per cent of the cash that is in circulation is outside the bank.

“More and more countries that are embracing digitisation have gone cashless,” he said.

He added that there would be no rigidity on the policy and no reversal, appealing to Nigerians to embrace the new policy.

According to the Governor of the CBN, the new naira notes have already been disbursed to the various commercial banks and expects that the banks would begin distribution to the public.

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