Smart infrastructure solutions company Costain will provide its technical consultancy services to Pale Blue Dot Energy to deliver what could be the UK’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project.

The Acorn CCS Project is a scalable CCS scheme which will enable the cost-efficient capture and storage of carbon emissions from the onshore gas facilities at St Fergus terminal in Scotland, and is also a key enabler for the Acorn Hydrogen project where North Sea natural gas will be reformed into clean hydrogen for blending into the gas grid.

The system is designed to enable other capture and storage projects including provision of CO2 shipping facilities in Peterhead Port and repurposing the existing Feeder 10 pipeline to enable capture of CO2 from Central Scotland. 

The current phase of the project is led by Pale Blue Dot Energy, supported by study partners Shell, Total and Chrysaor and part funded through BEIS and INEA as a European Project of Common Interest.

Acorn 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.

The reuse of existing high capacity on and offshore pipelines will save up to £750m on the overall Acorn project. The St Fergus gas terminal is located close to a high concentration of offshore CO2 storage sites making it an ideal hydrogen production and CCS hub.

Costain is providing concept design and front-end engineering design support, including onshore gas flue gas collection, CO2 capture integrations, CO2 compression and conditioning located at St Fergus and offshore subsea systems design including repurposing of the existing Goldeneye pipeline and a new CCS hub located near the Goldeneye Field.

“Hydrogen and CCS play a fundamental role in decarbonising gas for domestic and industrial heating, powering industry and large-scale transport,” said Rob Phillips, Costain’s Energy Sector Director.

“Large-scale and relatively cost-effective carbon capture at the source of production is key to unlocking this potential and is one of the many low carbon solutions Costain is progressing as part of leading the decarbonisation of the UK footprint and driving clean growth across the UK.”

“Acorn is a critical project for realising the UK and Scotland’s Net Zero commitments,” said Russ Gilbert, Project Director at Acorn CCS.

“We are working extremely hard alongside our study partners: Chrysaor, Shell and Total to deliver the different phases of this project to a timeline that is fully aligned with the Government’s emission reduction targets and show achieve first injection of CO2 into the Acorn store by 2024.”

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