Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has warned that the carbon capture investment agreed in Peterhead last week could be compromised in an independent Scotland.
Tens of millions of pounds of funding was earmarked for the first phase of a world-first project which would see Peterhead’s power station capture carbon dioxide emmisions.
However the Deputy Prime Minister cautioned that the uncertainty created by a ‘yes’ vote in September could hinder the project.
He said: “It’s like anything which is of significance for Scottish jobs and prosperity - the more uncertainty you create about the future status of Scotland, the more difficult you make it for major world-beating investments like this to procede smoothly.
“The head of Shell (who are working in partnership on this project) told us that they are hugely grateful for what the British government has done, that what we’re doing is a world first, that this billion pound that we’ve set aside - £100 million of which we’ve set aside for these early studies here and in Yorkshire - is something they’re really greaftul for.
“I don’t think it would help the project and therefore it wouldn’t help jobs and it wouldn’t help the enviroment and it wouldnt help the cause of clean green and sustainable energy to have to go back to square one all over again.”
The Deputy Prime Minister was joined by Energy Secretary Ed Davey and Scotland Secretary Alistair Carmichael for the announcement.
The government have awarded funding for a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study - the first step towards a construction project which could create 2,000 jobs in the North East and Yorkshire.
The Buchanie asked Mr Carmichael whether the decision to award the project to a SNP stronghold area was a political manoeuvre. It was a charge he flated refuted.
Mr Carmichael said: “I don’t think it’s a cynical decision and I don’t regard the North East of Scotland to be the SNP’s back yard.
“I know that the nationalists themselves often take the North East for granted and I know there are a lot of people here locally who feel the nationalists’ attention now focuses strongly on the central belt and chasing votes there.
“Peterhead is getting this because they have worked up the case and they have made the case that justifies the investment.”