Peterhead is sitting on a CO2 goldmine

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A new report highlighting the potential role of a Central North Sea C02 storage hub in enabling the successful development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the UK has bolstered Peterhead’s bid to house the facility.

The Scottish Enterprise report, with input from industry partners, sets out a number of possible scenarios for the future of CCS in the Central North Sea and the potential to develop infrastructure and networks to capture, transport and store CO2 from across Scotland, the UK and continental Europe.

With the UK Government currently evaluating submissions for its CCS Commercialisation Programme, this document sets out an affordable, deliverable route for CCS deployment with a diversity of options for long term CO2 storage.

It highlights the potential for a Central North Sea Storage Hub to receive and store as much as 100 million tonnes of C02 a year by 2030 and 500 million tonnes a year by 2050 – equivalent to 25 per cent of total EU emissions in 2007 – if all opportunities are effectively exploited.

The publication also highlights the potential for Peterhead Port as a key location for the shipment of captured CO2 from other parts of the UK and Europe, and onward transportation to the vast storage sites of the Central North Sea.

It contains new figures which estimate that the development of such an import facility could receive four million tonnes of CO2 per year and lead to the creation of over 500 jobs and additional GVA of more than £140million.

The study examines the added value of the Central North Sea as a location for CCS – particularly through its affordability, diverse geography and deliverable existing knowledge and capabilities.

This includes the re-use of significant lengths of existing subsea pipelines, offshore platforms for injection to depleted gas fields and the building of new pipelines to link clusters of capture plants in both the power and industrial sectors to the storage assets.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The Scottish Government welcomes this report, which provides further evidence of Scotland’s unique attributes with regards to Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS). CCS technology has the potential to transform the way we generate power and make an important contribution to Scotland’s low carbon future and Scotland is well-placed to take a lead in its development and commercialisation”

David Rennie, Scottish Enterprise oil and gas, thermal generation and CCS director said: “The offshore geography of the Central North Sea gives us an unique advantage in developing CCS capabilities which has huge potential for the Scottish economy.

“This new report highlights the scale of the opportunity of CCS and a Central North Sea hub, and the steps needed to exploit this. Much of the infrastructure and skills to develop CCS is already in place in Scotland thanks to our globally renowned oil & gas sector – and the recently launched Oil & Gas Strategy for Scotland has already highlighted CCS as an area of real significance for our existing supply chain.

“The challenge now is to make sure we fully exploit these advantages to develop a reputation for Scotland as a world-leader in this area.”

Professor Stuart Haszeldine University of Edinburgh, Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage said: “It’s important to look at what we get for our public support of CCS funding. Ideally we want low cost projects now, which help us to keep jobs, and we want projects which can extend rapidly whilst reducing difficulties. The Central North Sea offers all of that security, in well-understood and well-supported industries.”