The ground-breaking Acorn Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project has begun a feasibility study after being awarded European Union funding round Accelerating CCS Technologies (ACT).
The Acorn CCS project is a phased full-chain project in North East Scotland, which will transport and store carbon dioxide (CO2) captured initially from the St Fergus gas processing terminal. The CO2 will be transported offshore and injected deep underground for permanent storage in a saline formation. Later phases will store CO2, a greenhouse gas, from other sources.
The ACT Acorn study is being led by Pale Blue Dot Energy with project partners Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (University of Aberdeen, University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University), University of Liverpool, Bellona (Norway) and Radboud University (Netherlands).
The study will demonstrate the commercial and regulatory aspects of CCS project development in the UK. This would include the commercial aspects of transferring oil and gas infrastructure for use in CCS, the implementation of CO2 storage permits and development of funding and risk allocation aspects of CCS projects.
Researchers will develop a full-chain business case and economic model as well as pinpoint the best North Sea geological CO2 storage site for the project. They will also recommend policy that could support a just transition to a decarbonised future in regions dependent on fossil fuel industries and identify tools and methodologies for public engagement.
Aage Stangeland, of Research Council of Norway, which co-ordinates the ACT fund, said, “The Acorn project looks very promising. The project has the potential to be the start of a CCS value chain in the North Sea. This could make a significant contribution to wide deployment of CCS in Europe.”
Steve Murphy, project director, of Pale Blue Dot Energy added, “Acorn is an exciting step forward for CCS in the UK, especially after several false starts in recent years. Acorn starts on a small scale, re-using existing oil and gas infrastructure. This is essentially a commissioning phase for a project that could see millions of tonnes of CO2 stored as Acorn expands to include emissions from Central Scotland, from future hydrogen produced at St Fergus and the potential import of CO2 to Peterhead Harbour. We want to encourage the replication of the Acorn project worldwide, and one of our key objectives is to engage with low-carbon stakeholders in Europe and further afield to disseminate lessons learned and tools created.”