Carbon storage license award seen as ‘significant milestone’ for UK CCS project
AIM-listed Synergia Energy has been awarded a license under the North Sea Transition Authority’s first carbon storage licensing round, which it sees as an important step for its carbon capture and storage (CCS) project.
According to Synergia, the CS01_2022_APP25 (Camelot) license application was made jointly with its 50:50 partner, Wintershall Dea, and the award of this carbon storage license marks “a significant milestone” for the Medway Hub CCS project. A pre-FEED study has been completed by Axis Well Technology, which confirms the technical viability of the project.
Roland Wessel, Synergia’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The company has been working closely with Wintershall Dea over the last 12 months to develop the Medway Hub CCS project and prepare the carbon storage license applications. Synergia is delighted to have Wintershall Dea as partners in the Medway Hub CCS project given Wintershall Dea’s significant involvement in CCS projects in Norway and Denmark.”
Operated by Synergia, the Medway Hub CCS project enables the capture and transportation of CO2 emissions from coastal combined-cycle gas turbine power stations in liquid form by marine tanker to a floating injection, storage, and offloading (FISO) vessel from which the CO2 would be injected into depleted gas fields and saline aquifers situated on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) for permanent sequestration.
Therefore, this project will entail carbon capture and storage of CO2 from three major CCGT power stations located on the Isle of Grain near Rochester, Kent, encompassing CO2 extraction from the exhaust stream at Medway, Damhead and Grain power stations. The liquid CO2 will be transported via tanker to Esmond and Forbes depleted gas fields for permanent storage.
Furthermore, the company explains that the carbon storage license has a work programme, which incorporates an appraisal phase comprising seismic re-processing, technical evaluations, and risk assessment, a contingent FEED study leading to the potential storage license application in 2028, following the final investment decision (FID).
In addition, the Camelot license includes a contingent appraisal well while the first CO2 injection is anticipated for 2032. Synergia’s share of the initial work phase is subject to funding as would be the FID, to be made in due course.
The UK has already put the wheels into motion to step up CCS projects with £20 billion (nearly $24.2 billion) funding unveiled as part of its 2023 Spring Budget. The energy industry sees this funding as a way to speed up decarbonisation across the UK and step up the shift towards renewables.
After the NSTA offered 12 companies awards for 20 carbon storage licenses in the UK’s first-ever CO2 storage licensing round – launched in June 2022, with applications closing in September – the decision to offer 13 areas off the UK’s coast as sites for permanently storing CO2 signifies the country could bury 30 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030.