The UK government has announced a regulation framework to support the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in the country, in a move that was long awaited by operators with projects in the works.

The Dispatchable Power Agreement (DPA), published on Tuesday, sets out the official business model and contract structures that will shape the nascent CCS sector in the country.

The framework sets out parameters on CO2 capture rates and testing requirements – what the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy described as “solid policy framework” for operators and investors.

The DPA is based on the contractual structure of the Contracts for Difference that was originally put in place to support the renewable energy sector, and expands on the requirements for CCS projects.

“Businesses need to know that the UK is the best place for carbon capture investment… we are giving one of our biggest signals to date and showing that the UK’s CCUS industry is open for business,” Climate and Energy Minister Graham Stuart said.

Stuart added that the CCUS framework will provide the industry with “the clarity required to deploy CCUS at scale” and “move into the next phase” of development.

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Sources in the industry had previously voiced their concerns over the confusion reigning in UK politics, following the resignation of former prime minister Boris Johnson and the collapse of successor Liz Truss’ government, and its potential consequences for CCS.

The UK government has been in the process of shortlisting a group of projects that will be granted public support, as it targets the setup of two CCS clusters by 2025 and two more by 2030.

HyNet cluster in North West England and North Wales, and the East Coast Cluster in the Teesside and Humber areas are the two hubs that are due for development by the 2025 deadline.

BP is involved in the East Coast Cluster and Italy’s Eni in HyNet.

A selection of projects was shortlisted in August as part of the sequencing process, and are currently undergoing due diligence.