An agreement has been reached between OPITO, a global safety and skills body for the energy industry, and the Acorn Project and Scottish Cluster to develop a blueprint for industrial skilling and reskilling training for the low carbon economy, according to a statement from OPITO.
The Scottish Cluster relies on the Acorn Project, developed by Storegga in collaboration with Shell UK and Harbour Energy. Acorn Carbon Capture and Storage (“CCS”) and Acorn Hydrogen are part of its ambitious program, which will use existing offshore gas pipelines landing at the St Fergus gas terminal to quickly and cost-effectively provide access to world-class CO2 stores located in rock formations deep under the North Sea, establishing a CO2 transport and storage hub to support the key emitter projects in the Scottish Cluster..
The UK government recently announced the results of its CCUS Cluster Sequencing Process to determine which of the UK’s industrial CCS clusters would be on the earliest track for project delivery in the UK. Work on the project continues to be supported by the Scottish Cluster, which has been granted reserve cluster status by the Scottish government.
Before any work begins in 2023, OPITO will provide standards and competency training support for the Scottish Cluster, based on its 50-year history in energy training. The Scottish Cluster’s workforce training and development plans will be applicable to other CCS clusters in the United Kingdom.
Head of Energy Transition at OPITO Andy Williamson said: “We share the Acorn partner’s view that the Project remains crucial to developing CCS to support decarbonization in the UK industry, despite the United Kingdom Government’s decision to name the Scottish Cluster as a reserve.
“A unique combination of existing infrastructure, offshore geology, and a skilled and competent workforce who are ready to transfer their skills means the Acorn Project will play a key role in meeting Scotland, and the UK’s journey to net zero.
“OPITO, with its strong commitment to the energy transition and established partnerships, is ideally placed to support Acorn, and other Cluster projects, to meet our shared net zero ambition.”
On behalf of the Scottish Cluster, Nick Cooper, CEO of Storegga, said: “Our conservative estimate is that over 20,000 skilled jobs will be created through the peak of the Scottish Cluster development. We are determined that training and reskilling opportunities are in place to prepare our workforce to meet the infrastructure and innovation needs of the Scottish Cluster projects. Our workforce in Scotland will be equipped with the skills to deliver projects for our net zero future in Scotland, the UK, and then export this knowledge internationally in the same way that the North Sea did in previous decades.”