A multimillion pound carbon capture scheme (CCS) is facing a set back after a blaze devastated a listed building in Boddam.
Standford Lodge was left gutted by fire in the early hours of Monday, 10th August.
The 18th century building was considered as a possible location as a visitor centre to showcase pioneering CCS to visiting academics, engineers and tourists.
However, the fire has left these plans hanging in the balance.
Oil giants Shell, who earlier in the year successfully applied for planning permission for a Carbon Capture and Storage Power Station in Peterhead, have expressed doubts after the incident.
A spokesperson said, “ The fire authorities will conduct an investigation into the cause of the fire and we’ll assess whatever needs to be assessed after that.”
Plans for the power station are said to not be affected.
An investigation into the cause is currently underway and Police Scotland could not confirm whether or not the fire was suspicious.
A call was received at 2.30am and four pumps, two from Peterhead and two from Ellon, were dispatched.
Crews arrived to find the ground floor well alight and firefighters in breathing apparatus used a reel hose to tackle the flames.
A height vehicle was also used as a water tower.
The blaze was under control by 7.15am, but crews were still at the scene until 9.30am that morning.