Acorn is a low-cost, low-risk carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, designed to be built quickly, taking advantage of existing oil and gas infrastructure and a well understood offshore CO2 storage site.
The project is located at the St Fergus Gas Terminal – an active industrial site where around 35% of all the natural gas used in the UK comes onshore.
Designated as a European Project of Common Interest (PCI), Acorn is an important catalyst for clean growth in the north east of the UK and beyond:
- A major hydrogen and CCS hub at St Fergus
- An economic opportunity for the deep-water port at Peterhead
- A repurposed onshore pipeline to deal with Scotland’s Central Belt emissions
- An international CO2 storage hub in the Central North Sea that unlocks CO2 transportation and storage solutions for other carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) clusters across the UK and potentially Europe.
With the right support, Acorn CCS could be operating in the early 2020’s.
Acorn CCS was specifically designed to tackle one of the acknowledged major blockers to CCUS deployment in the UK – the high capital costs involved in getting CCUS started.
Situating Acorn CCS in the north east coast of Scotland was a strategic decision, to allow the project to make best use of the UK’s built and natural assets:
- Access to extremely valuable offshore gas pipelines that are suitable for reuse for CO2 transport and still have long operational life expectancy.
- Access to world class, well understood geology for CO2 storage – the high confidence around these CO2 stores is due to a wealth of data from the previously active oil and gas industry in this area, but also the publicly available results of two previous UK Government-supported FEED studies and an Energy Technology Institute’s assessment of the suitability of the area for CO2 storage.
- The ability to initiate CO2 capture at the St Fergus Gas Terminal, an existing industrial site where around 35% of all the natural gas used in the UK currently comes onshore.
Acorn CCS takes full advantage of these opportunities to reuse infrastructure and build on existing knowledge. Using relatively small initial quantities of CO2 to quickly establish a low-cost opportunity to commission large scale CO2 transport and storage infrastructure that can support much larger future volumes.
- In June 2018, Acorn CCS became the first CCUS project in Europe to have been awarded funding support from the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facilities (CEF) fund.
- In November 2018, Acorn CCS received a commitment from the UK Government, the Scottish Government, Pale Blue Dot Energy and Total, to match fund this work to develop Acorn’s CO2 transport infrastructure development. This project is known as the CO2 SAPLING project.
- Acorn CCS has also received invaluable support through the ERA-NET ACT funded studies to develop the ACT Acorn programme – a close collaboration between eight European partner organisations, designed to accelerate CCS deployment at Acorn and across Europe. All the results from the ACT Acorn advanced feasibility studies are publicly available on the ACT Acorn website along with a suite of communication and explanatory materials. The Acorn YouTube Channel showcases some of this material.
- Acorn CCS has also been awarded the Oil and Gas Authority’s first CO2 appraisal and storage licence and Crown Estate Scotland’s first lease option for CO2 storage for the Acorn CO2 Storage Site.
- In January 2019 Pale Blue Dot Energy received notification from the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) fund that the Acorn CCS project (CO2 SAPLING Transport and Infrastructure Project) is being recommended for funding following their call for proposals on 11th June 2018.
‘CO2 SAPLING’, the transportation infrastructure element of Acorn, is listed as a PCI (Project of Common Interest). More information on CO2 SAPLING can be found here.
To express your interest for the use of the Acorn CCS infrastructure, please visit the following page on our website.
Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.
For further information, please get in touch.