Feasibility Study for Acorn CO2 SAPLING Transport Infrastructure Project

The outputs from this feasability study for the Acorn CO2 SAPLING Transport Infrastructure Project form a key element of the low-cost Acorn full chain industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project.  The project commenced in May 2018 and was completed in March 2019. The results of the Project are informing the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) stage of the Acorn CCS project.

Project Funding

The Project has received funding from a number of sources including the European Commission (EC) through the Projects of Common Interest (PCI) instrument called the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), having been publicly listed as a PCI in November 2017. PCIs are intended to help create an integrated EU energy market and support the EU’s energy policy objectives of affordable, secure and sustainable energy.

The Project also received funding from the UK Government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the Scottish Government, Total E&P UK Limited and Pale Blue Dot Energy. For more, information, please read the press release.


Project Background

CO2 SAPLING – CO2 Shipping And PipeLine Infrastructure and North Sea ReGeneration

The CO2 SAPLING project is a CO2 transportation infrastructure project that grows and builds out from the Acorn full chain Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project.

Whilst the proposed CO2 infrastructure network is seeded with existing oil and gas pipeline systems in North East Scotland, the subsequent build-out connects regional, national and international emissions centres to support the deep decarbonisation of the North Sea Basin area.   The transportation network seeks to make significant early progress through the re-purposing and re-use of existing assets wherever possible.  It is further augmented by CO2 shipping export and import facilities and new pipelines.  This enables the more expensive capital investments to be reserved until a significant proportion of the CO2 landscape and business model is de-risked.  The key component in the network is the St Fergus gas processing plant, which through the CO2 SAPLING plan will become a strategic European CO2 sequestration hub.

In addition to the support to developing key European CO2 transportation infrastructure, it will also provide a model and template for similar hubs elsewhere in Europe where ageing petroleum assets may be suitable for re-use and thereby deliver significant transnational benefits.


The CEF Funded Project

The CEF funding has enabled Pale Blue Dot Energy to complete a comprehensive feasibility study for all the transport infrastructure elements of the Acorn CCS project.

  • Timing: This comprehensive feasibility study into the transport infrastructure elements of Acorn CCS commenced in May 2018 and was completed in March 2019.
  • Scope: The project involved detailed technical and economic analysis activities that resulted in an optimal programme to establish the project’s transport infrastructure, detailing its cost, addressing and quantifying technical issues and risks and developing a model for its technical and commercial operability.

The project incorporates four key workstreams:

  • Workstream 1: Offshore Pipeline Transport Feasibility
  • Workstream 2: Ship Based CO2 Import / Export Feasibility
  • Workstream 3: Onshore Pipeline Transport Feasibility
  • Workstream 4: Feasibility Study Management

Outside of the PCI-funded feasability study into the transport infrastructure, work was also completed on the whole-chain project.  This involved the assessment of the feasibility of the whole-chain project and preparation of material to support the decision on the next step into front end engineering and design (FEED), the final design stage before committing to constructing and operating a project.

View the Acorn CO2 SAPLING Transport and Infrastructure Project flyer

Further Information and Contact Details