Photo: Illustration; Source: Pale Blue Dot

Acorn CCS and Hydrogen project gets over $43 million in government funding

Scotland took a step closer to its net-zero carbon goals with the announcement of over £31 million ($43.1 million) of UK Government funding for initiatives linked to the Acorn carbon capture and storage (CCS) project.

The funds were allocated to Scotland’s Net Zero Infrastructure project — led by Pale Blue Dot and which comprises the Acorn CCS project — to fund offshore and onshore engineering studies connecting industrial sites across east Scotland with access to carbon storage.

The SNZI programme is an industry match-funded initiative that brings together academic and industrial partners to develop a major package of work designed to progress a national low carbon infrastructure.

Source: Pale Blue Dot Acorn
Source: Pale Blue Dot

They include the detailed engineering required to move the Acorn CCS and Hydrogen projects to a final investment decision and developing a new CCS-equipped power station at Peterhead which would become an early customer for the Acorn infrastructure.

Also, this includes an assessment of the potential to re-use onshore pipelines to transport CO2 from the central belt of Scotland to the Acorn Project, an engineering design programme for a carbon capture system on a gas-fired power station in Grangemouth, and the development of a “fabrication yard-ready” design of a new class of ship which can serve the needs of coastal CO2 emitters around the UK for delivery at Peterhead port.

This important programme of new work and infrastructure reuse will provide a significant boost to the region’s fast-growing low carbon credentials, paving the way for onshore and offshore developments totalling more than £3 billion ($4.17 billion).

It will also map out the longer-term economic impacts, job preservation and creation opportunities as Scotland transitions away from oil and gas to low carbon fuels like hydrogen and CO2 removal technologies such as CCS.

The SNZI programme complements work that is already underway on Scotland’s Net Zero Roadmap project. This funding will help enable the Acorn Project to be operational in the mid-2020s – a critical timeline to meet the UK’s ambitious net-zero targets.

Pale Blue Dot chief executive Nick Cooper said: “This funding will support a range of projects to progress Scotland’s low carbon infrastructure including the detailed engineering required to move Acorn CCS and Hydrogen through to final investment decisions“.

Under the SNZI programme, Petrofac will work the offshore pipeline and subsea activities to develop the Acorn CCS project. The company was selected to provide ongoing engineering and project management office support for the project in June 2020.

Commenting on the award of funds, Petrofac’s chief corporate development officer and COO of Petrofac’s engineering and production services business John Pearson stated in a separate release: “Scotland has a fantastic opportunity to repurpose existing infrastructure to enable industrial decarbonisation.

Not only does this approach shorten delivery timescales and reduce project delivery risk, but it creates a long-term business model that will support investment and Scottish jobs.

Petrofac is exceptionally proud to play its part in supporting Pale Blue Dot’s landmark project alongside an impressive team of academic and industrial experts”.

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It is worth reminding that Mitsui invested in Storegga Geotechnologies, the lead developer of the Acorn project, and now holds 15.4 per cent of the firm.

Storegga is developing the Acorn CCS project through its wholly-owned subsidiary of Pale Blue Dot Energy with support from Macquarie Group and GIC which hold 21.5 and 15.4 per cent stakes, respectively.