ExxonMobil joins Acorn carbon capture project
U.S. supermajor ExxonMobil has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to participate in the Acorn carbon capture and storage project (CCS) in Scotland.
The project plans to capture and store approximately 5-6 million tons of CO2 per year by 2030 from gas terminals at the St Fergus complex at Peterhead, Scotland, which includes ExxonMobil’s joint venture gas terminal.
The Acorn Project has the potential to provide more than half of the 10 million tons per year of CO2 storage the UK government is targeting, and when expanded has the potential to store more than 20 million tons of CO2 emissions per year by the mid-2030s.
Joe Blommaert, president of Low Carbon Solutions at ExxonMobil, said: “ExxonMobil has more than 30 years of experience in CCS technology and is advancing plans for multiple new CCS opportunities around the world. We are pleased to support the Acorn Project in the deployment of CCS, one of the most important technologies required to achieve society’s climate goals”.
The International Energy Agency projects CCS could mitigate up to 15 per cent of global emissions by 2040, and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates global de-carbonization efforts could be twice as costly without CCS.
ExxonMobil also said it has joined NECCUS, an alliance of industry, government and academic experts committed to reducing carbon emissions from industrial facilities in Scotland.
The company’s membership will help the alliance explore the potential of technology-driven solutions to reduce emissions by drawing on the company’s extensive global experience with carbon capture and storage. NECCUS members include the Scottish government, Scottish universities, and industry partners – with over 40 members in total.
“Our membership in NECCUS and our involvement with Acorn underscores our commitment to addressing the dual challenge of meeting the world’s energy needs while reducing emissions from our operations. As a world leader in the development and use of carbon capture and storage, we will work with the alliance to identify how this technology can play a pivotal role in reducing Scotland’s emissions”, Blommaert added.
Earlier this year, ExxonMobil established a Low Carbon Solutions business to commercialize low-emission technologies. It is initially focusing on CCS, the process of capturing CO2 from industrial activity that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and injecting it into deep underground geologic formations.
Mike Smith, CEO of NECCUS, stated: “NECCUS welcomes ExxonMobil to our alliance. Decarbonising industrial emissions will be a challenging but essential part of meeting the national 2045 net-zero target.
“We believe Scotland is well placed to deliver on technologies such as carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen, which are necessary to achieve a net-zero industrial cluster. Collaboration across the organisations within NECCUS will be essential to this ambition, and the experience ExxonMobil brings will enhance this collaboration”.
As for other CCS ventures, the Dutch government granted ExxonMobil and Shell around $2.4 billion in subsidies for the Porthos CCS project.
Also, ExxonMobil announced its vision for a massive $100 billion carbon capture and storage project which it believes will be critical to meeting Paris Agreement emission-reducing goals.
But it is worth remembering that a lobbyist for ExxonMobil stated in an aired interview recorded by undercover Greenpeace activists that the company was still fighting efforts to tackle climate change in the U.S., despite publicly claiming to support the Paris climate agreement.
As for recent Acorn CCS developments, on Thursday, CO2 separation tech provider Carbon Clean was awarded the contract to carry out the front-end engineering design (FEED) services for the Acorn carbon capture plant at St Fergus.