Acorn project wins EU funding to progress CCS in the UK

The Acorn project, a full chain small scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in North East Scotland, has reached another milestone with support from the EU funding round “Advancing CCS Technologies” (ACT), a part of the ERA-NET programme. The project, being developed by CO2DeepStore, has been approved for funding under the programme to progress feasibility studies in 2017 and 2018. Pale Blue Dot Energy is leading the ACT study consortium which also includes Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage, Bellona (Norway), Liverpool University and Radboud University (Netherlands).

Acorn provides a low-cost entry point for CCS in the UK, by enabling a small-scale project, from which an extensive CCS network could be developed. The project will capture industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the St Fergus gas processing plant and transport it for permanent storage deep beneath the North Sea, using existing redundant oil and gas infrastructure which is currently under threat of decommissioning. St Fergus will be a future hub for CCS, its multiple pipelines taking CO2 by pipeline from Central Scotland and CO2 shipping import via Peterhead Harbour to North Sea storage sites.

CCS is an important technology to enable the decarbonisation of fossil fuel power generation, industrial processes and hydrogen production which will deliver low carbon heat. The high cost of earlier large scale proposed projects has so far prevented the UK from initiating CCS.

Alan James, Managing Director of Pale Blue Dot Energy said “This is a significant endorsement for this innovative project, the benefits of which have been seen by the nine EU member states involved in the evaluation. We look forward to progressing the feasibility phase and working with stakeholders to move the project towards development.”

Professor Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS Director, said: “Funding for the Acorn CCS project is an important first step towards decarbonising industry in Scotland as part of the UK’s overall efforts. Several years of work, by SCCS, Pale Blue Dot Energy and others, have confirmed the benefits of re-using legacy engineering equipment, pipelines and well-understood geological storage. This has already been evaluated with £100 million of public funding. In all of Europe, north-east Scotland is the location where CCS can be built most rapidly, with low-cost CO2 transport and very secure storage sites. Acorn also lights a path to sustainable offshore engineering and employment for many decades into the future. Becoming a careful early mover in this new industry can help us win a place in the business of CO2 storage for the UK and mainland Europe.”


About Pale Blue Dot Energy

Pale Blue Dot Energy is a UK based management consultancy focused on the low carbon energy transition. Areas of expertise include Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS), Oil & Gas Transition and Emerging Low Carbon Energy Systems.

The business provides support to public bodies and businesses of all sizes, to create opportunities and mitigate risks arising from major changes in the energy markets, driven by factors relating to energy price, security of supply and climate change. The team have been working on CCS projects for ten years. www.pale-blu.com

About CO2DeepStore

CO2DeepStore was formed in 2007 as the UK’s first CO2 transport and storage development company. CO2DeepStore invests in the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects to support climate change mitigation and has a focus on CO2 transport and storage solutions for major CO2 emitters. The company has previously invested in projects in the two UK government led CCS demonstration competitions. CO2DeepStore is an affiliate of Pale Blue Dot Energy. www.co2deepstore.com

About Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS)

SCCS is a research partnership of British Geological Survey, Heriot-Watt University, University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde, and associate member the University of St Andrews. Its researchers are engaged in high-level CCS research as well as joint projects with industry to support the development and commercialisation of CCS as a climate mitigation technology. The Acorn project group includes the University of Edinburgh, University of Aberdeen and Heriot-Watt University. www.sccs.org.uk

About Bellona Foundation

The Bellona Foundation is an independent non-profit organization that aims to meet and fight the climate challenges, through identifying and implementing sustainable environmental solutions. Bellona work towards reaching a greater ecological understanding, protection of nature, the environment and health. Bellona is engaged in a broad spectrum of current national and international environmental questions and issues around the world. www.bellona.org

About Liverpool University

The University of Liverpool, established in 1881, sits primarily within the heart of the city of Liverpool, on a 100-acre site that has a combination of world leading teaching and research facilities. The University of Liverpool, a member of the elite Russell Group, is a world class university, ranked within the top 1% of universities worldwide. It is a globally focussed institution with a long international history across both research and teaching activities. The university has partnerships throughout the world including research institutes, universities, industry, governments, charities and foundations. www.liverpool.ac.uk

About Radboud University

Radboud University (RU) is a research university based in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Its Department of Environmental Science at the Institute of Water and Wetland Research conducts quantitative and qualitative research into climate change, biodiversity and chemical pollution. Researchers at the department are working on life-cycle assessment of energy technologies, including CCS, biomass and CCS applications and direct air capture, as well as on policy analysis and evaluations of innovation policies for energy technologies. http://www.ru.nl/environmentalscience/ 

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