Image: Acorn Project

In the latest development of the Scottish Cluster of decarbonisation projects, an agreement with Project Cavendish might result in the decarbonisation of 700MW of electricity generation in South East England using the Scottish Cluster’s Acorn CO2 transport and storage system.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed with Peterhead Port Authority will assist in facilitating this critical cross-border collaboration by allowing the Acorn CO2 transport and storage system to support industrial emitters across the UK that lack ready access to large, flexible, and well-understood local storage facilities. At the deep-water Peterhead Port, work is underway to investigate the development of a dedicated CO2 reception terminal that would allow CO2 shipments to be transferred quickly, safely, and efficiently to the Acorn Transport & Storage network for permanent geological storage deep beneath the North Sea seabed.

Cavendish is a large-scale, low-carbon hydrogen production facility that is scheduled to begin operations in 2027. The hydrogen manufacturing facility would be located on Kent’s Isle of Grain in the Thames Estuary, adjacent to gas and electricity networks, power plants, and a liquid natural gas (“LNG”) complex. CO2 produced during the hydrogen generation process from natural gas could be collected and transported via ship to Peterhead Port, where it could be used to access the Scottish Cluster’s Acorn CO2 transport and storage solution.

These Memorandums of Understanding build on recent agreements with the owners of the SEGAL and FUKA gas terminals in St Fergus, the SSE Thermal and Equinor team behind the Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Plant, and the INEOS/Petroineos plan to send a significant portion of Scotland’s industrial CO2 emissions into the Acorn CO2 transport and storage system by 2026/27.

Nick Cooper, CEO Storegga said: “The signing of the MoU’s with Project Cavendish and the Peterhead Port Authority demonstrates how the Scottish Cluster can decarbonise not only Scottish emitters but those throughout the UK and Europe. The Acorn Project is strategically located in Aberdeenshire to make best use of legacy oil and gas infrastructure and Scotland’s excellent offshore geology for COstorage. This, combined with access to the deep-water port of Peterhead which offers significant CO2 import capabilities, means that the Scottish Cluster is able to support the urgent decarbonisation of industrial clusters across the UK, with the Cluster conservatively expected to be managing more than 60% of the UK Government’s overall CO2 capture and storage by 2030.”

David Duguid, Member of Parliament for Banff and Buchan said of the announcement: “This announcement demonstrates the momentum behind the Scottish Cluster, and the integral role the Acorn CCS project will play in storing carbon emissions captured across the UK. By storing COemissions captured by industry-leading new energy projects such as Project Cavendish, the Scottish Cluster is enabling the whole of the UK to transition to net zero.”

Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport said: “I am delighted to see the Scottish Cluster take this next step forward in its proposals to support decarbonisation in Scotland, and across the UK and Europe. Scotland has set world-leading statutory targets to reach net-zero by 2045 and the Acorn CCS project is mission critical in achieving this by helping industrial emitters decarbonise. This Memorandum of Understanding demonstrates how Acorn will also support the UK and parts of Europe in their decarbonisation journeys and it is fantastic to see Peterhead Port committing to invest in carbon capture infrastructure as the Scottish Cluster continues to demonstrate how vital a role it will play in energy’s just transition to net zero.” 

Simon Brebner, Chief Executive of the Peterhead Port Authority said: “We’re delighted to have joined the Scottish Cluster and look forward to the feasibility and early design work on a dedicated CO2 handling facility within the port. Our proximity to the assets that are intended to be deployed for COstorage and our cross-sectoral expertise makes the port the ideal location for development in this vitally important area.”

Paul Bogers, VP Hydrogen at Shell, on behalf of Project Cavendish, said: “Shell is advancing hydrogen projects up and down the UK, both to produce the gas and to store the associated emissions.

“We and our partners in Project Cavendish are looking to produce hydrogen in the Thames Estuary to serve customers in the South East of England. This MoU with Acorn CCS is a key step that enables us to explore transporting the associated carbon emissions and storing them off the coast of Aberdeen. It is an example of how companies and regions can work together to move the UK closer to its net zero target.”

Nedim Husomanovic

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