Acorn CCS & Acorn Hydrogen

Project Overview

There are 2 elements to the Acorn project – carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen.  Acorn CCS is a low-cost, low-risk, carbon capture and storage project that provides CO2 mitigation infrastructure essential for meeting the Scottish and UK Government Net Zero targets. The Acorn project has its own project website.

Acorn CCS is designed to be built quickly, taking advantage of existing oil and gas infrastructure and a well understood offshore CO2 storage site which has the first UK CO2 appraisal and storage licence to be awarded by the Oil and Gas Authority.

Through the Acorn Hydrogen project, North Sea natural gas would be reformed into clean hydrogen, with CO2 emissions safely mitigated through the Acorn CCS infrastructure. Hydrogen would be used in transport applications, and in the gas grid to decarbonise heating in our homes and industries.

Acorn CCS has been designate a European Project of Common Interest (PCI) and together with Acorn Hydrogen, is a very important catalyst for clean growth in the north east of the UK and beyond:

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  • A major carbon capture and storage hub with hydrogen production at St Fergus
  • An economic opportunity for the deep-water port at Peterhead for potential CO2 imports
  • 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 usage and storage (CCUS) clusters across the UK and potentially Europe.

The project is led by Pale Blue Dot Energy, with funding and support from industry partners (Chrysaor, Shell and Total) the UK and Scottish Governments, and the European Union.

With the continued support of Governments and industry, Acorn CCS could be operating by 2024.

Co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union.

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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
  • 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. The first phase of the project makes use of some of the existing CO2 emissions at the St Fergus gas terminal (around 340,000 tonnes), in order to commission a very large scale CO2 transport and storage infrastructure that can support much larger future volumes.

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Current Status

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.