Photo: ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil adds one more plant to CCS project plans

U.S. oil major ExxonMobil has increased its participation in the Acorn carbon capture project in Scotland by signing an Expression of Interest to capture, transport, and store CO2 from its Fife Ethylene Plant in Scotland.

ExxonMobil said on Wednesday that the agreement to include the ethylene plant, located in Mossmorran, Scotland, is in addition to an earlier announced Memorandum of Understanding to capture and store emissions from gas terminals at the St Fergus complex at Peterhead, Scotland, which includes ExxonMobil’s joint venture gas terminal.

Namely, ExxonMobil joined the Acorn project by signing the memorandum of understanding in mid-July 2021. The project will capture, transport and store CO2 in secure reservoirs beneath the North Sea.

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The initial phase of Acorn, which is bidding to be in the first wave of carbon capture clusters to be announced by the UK government, has the potential to deliver more than half of the country’s target of capturing and storing 10 million metric tons per year of CO2 by 2030. When expanded further, it will have the potential to store more than 20 million metric tons per year of CO2 by the mid-2030s.

Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, said: “With the right government policies in place and industry collaboration, the carbon capture and storage opportunities we are evaluating, such as in Scotland, have the potential to move forward with current technologies for large-scale, game-changing emissions reductions.”

The Acorn project recently announced plans to capture and store CO2 from the Grangemouth Refinery, and the addition of Mossmorran facilities will help Scotland reduce emissions in its industrial sector.

Martin Burrell, plant manager of the Fife Ethylene Plant, said: “This agreement allows us to explore the potential for significant emissions reduction through carbon capture and storage, and ensure Scotland continues to benefit from vital manufacturing facilities such as Fife.”

Acorn CCS project
Acorn CCS project

ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions business, created earlier this year, is evaluating several other carbon capture and storage projects around the world, including in Rotterdam, Netherlands; Normandy, France; LaBarge, Wyoming; and a world-scale carbon capture and storage hub concept in Houston, Texas.

This concept in September received support from eleven companies, including Calpine, Chevron, Dow, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Linde, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, NRG Energy, Phillips 66, and Valero.

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that carbon capture and storage could mitigate up to 15 per cent of global emissions by 2040, and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates global decarbonization efforts could be twice as costly without its wide-scale deployment.