Milestone agreement shows momentum towards historic opportunity to decarbonise Scottish industrial cluster
Storegga – through its wholly owned subsidiary Pale Blue Dot Energy -, Shell U.K. (“Shell”) and Harbour Energy (“Harbour”), the partners in the Acorn Project are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) with two key industrial customers on the North East coast of Scotland.
The Acorn CCS (carbon capture and storage), and Hydrogen Project, one of the most mature UK CCS and hydrogen projects, will work with the owners of two of the St Fergus gas terminals on plans to capture existing CO2 emissions from their operations. Along with a third terminal at St Fergus, these process 35% of the natural gas that feeds into the National Grid for UK homes, businesses and power generation. Emissions from the two plants would be transported via existing oil and gas infrastructure to be stored safely and permanently in rock formations beneath the seabed.
The two St Fergus gas terminals which are in discussions with Acorn are SEGAL, which is jointly owned by Shell and ExxonMobil, and FUKA, which is owned by North Sea Midstream Partners. The companies are working towards a formal agreement to become the first customers for the Acorn CCS project.
This MoU is an important first step as the project partners chart how the Acorn Project could help decarbonise sectors that will continue to rely on hydrocarbons. The Acorn CO2 transport and storage infrastructure established at St Fergus will provide an essential service for other industry across Scotland, the UK and Europe. Emissions can be liquified and transported via ships to the deep-water port at nearby Peterhead.
The MoU agreement builds on the recent landmark North Sea Transition Deal, which set out a clear pathway for government and industry to drive forward the move to a low carbon energy system. It is also an important indicator of UK momentum towards that goal ahead of November’s COP26 summit in Glasgow.
Nick Cooper, CEO Storegga said:
“This really is a momentous day for us. Signing the MoU to begin this important work on the St Fergus CO2 emissions represents a key milestone for the Acorn Project and its ability to deliver progress towards the UK’s net zero goals. These emissions should be the first of many as we plan to scale the project to store more than 20 million tonnes per year of CO2 emissions from Scotland, the UK and potentially Europe by the mid-2030s.”
Phil Kirk, President and CEO Europe, Harbour Energy said:
“We are excited by the signing of this MoU. The strong commitment of these first customers to decarbonise existing industry in the region is an important first step towards realising the UK’s net zero commitments. The scalability of Acorn, its location and critical infrastructure can help more industries and homes across Scotland and the UK to decarbonise.”
Simon Roddy, SVP U.K, Upstream, Shell said:
“While St Fergus has had a historic role in providing energy to millions of UK homes and businesses, this MoU marks the first step on its transformation to a new dual role in the future, bringing energy ashore while safely disposing of greenhouse gases. Scotland’s CCS contribution starts here, with emissions from our own operations at the terminal, and ultimately seeing St Fergus develop as part of a Scottish hub providing carbon storage for businesses across Scotland, the UK and Europe.”
Joe Blommaert, President of Low Carbon Solutions at ExxonMobil, said:
“ExxonMobil has more than 30 years’ experience in CCS technology and is advancing plans for more than 20 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.”
Andy Heppel, CEO of North Sea Midstream Partners, said:
“We are very pleased to have signed this MoU with the Acorn Project as part of our support for the North Sea Transition Deal and our objective to play a leading role in the Energy Transition and the journey to Net Zero.”
Acorn is expected to be operational in the mid-2020s and would use the emissions from the gas terminals to establish a major CO2 transportation and storage system in the UK. By 2030 Acorn has the potential of achieving more than half of the 10Mt/yr of CO2 storage targeted by the UK Government’s Ten Point Plan for a green Industrial Revolution. The Acorn Project can then be scaled up, with the potential to store more than 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year within its first decade of operation. There are currently only around 40 million tonnes of CO2 per year stored globally.
The Acorn Project is funded and supported by industry partners (Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy), the UK and Scottish Governments and the European Union. It is led by Storegga, with Shell working as the Technical Developer for the Acorn CCS Project.