“The Acorn project has the potential to capture and store CO2 emissions from Scotland’s largest industrial center, which is an economic engine for the country,” said Martin Burrell, plant manager of the Fife Ethylene Plant. “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.”
Earlier this year, ExxonMobil signed a memorandum of understanding to capture and store at least 5 million tonnes of emissions annually up until 2030 from gas terminals at the St Fergus complex at Peterhead, Scotland.
The developer Acorn Storegga also clinched an agreement this week with the company Ineos to capture and store 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year up until 2027 at its Grangemouth refinery in Scotland. The agreement provides for the capture of “significant additional volumes” after that date.
The Acorn project aims to re-purpose existing gas pipelines to transport CO2 to a storage site in rock formations under the North Sea 100 km off the northeast coast of Scotland. More than 400 km of existing underwater pipelines are part of the infrastructure to be used in the project.
The developers believe that Acorn could help Great Britain achieve more than half its goal of capturing 10 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030. The project can be expanded so that by the mid-2030 s it could capture more than 20 million tonnes per year.
Britain intends to launch at least two carbon capture and storage projects by the mid-2020s and two more by the end of the decade. The projects may secure government assistance, including from a special financing fund.
ExxonMobil is working on similar technologies in its projects in Rotterdam and in the United States as well as in other countries. The company describes itself as holding one-fifth of the world-wide capacity of CO2 capture.