Dr Nick Cooper, CEO of Acorn lead developer Storegga, said: "We are thrilled that the Acorn Project has advanced directly into Track-2. Acorn has been progressed by the development partners as the Track-1 reserve since late 2021, and is ready to move promptly to support the decarbonisation of Scotland and the wider UK.
“Today’s news is a defining milestone for us, and the Scottish Cluster. Acorn will be a major contributor towards meeting the UK and Scotland’s carbon reduction targets, able to serve emitters connected by pipeline and ship.
“As Lead Developer, Storegga thanks Acorn partners and Scottish Cluster participants for their support and we look forward to working with Government to deliver the multiple benefits of creating and future-proofing jobs, bringing inward economic investment, developing green-tech industries and, crucially helping decarbonise Scotland and the UK.”
Simon Roddy, Senior Vice President of Shell’s UK Upstream business, said: “This is an important step forward for one of the UK’s leading CCS clusters. The Acorn Project is a central part of plans to decarbonise North Sea operations, and to store emissions from other parts of Scottish industry. As Technical Developer, we bring Shell’s global experience of CCS and the delivery of major projects. To stimulate investment in this and other CCS clusters, continued co-operation with governments will be key to finding the most innovative approaches and business models, to allow CCS to reach the scale needed to help the UK achieve net zero.”
Harbour Energy’s Executive Vice President of Net Zero and CCS Steve Cox said: “The UK has the potential to be a global leader in carbon capture and storage and projects like Acorn will not only help the Government meet its climate change targets, but also play an essential role in developing a new homegrown energy industry, creating thousands of jobs in the future. Today’s announcement helps bring that a step closer to becoming a reality.”
Sayma Cox, NSMP’s CEO said: “We welcome the UK Government's announcement to advance the Acorn project onto Track-2. Achieving this milestone will provide further investor confidence towards continued support and delivery of the Acorn project, the Scottish Cluster and the wider economic benefits to be gained by this programme of projects, all of which move us ever closer to achieving our collective goal in making a sustainable transition toward decarbonising the UK.”
Acorn would provide the transport and storage network for the Scottish Cluster, which involves collaboration by global industrial companies using innovative decarbonisation technologies to capture and permanently store CO2 emissions under the North Sea.
Acorn has received match funding from the UK and Scottish Governments and has benefited from two rounds of Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding from the European Commission.
Entering the Track-2 process will allow Acorn to commence detailed negotiations with Government and to continue working to provide the infrastructure to support the decarbonisation of emitters across Scotland, protecting and creating jobs and helping to ensure tangible progress towards achieving the UK’s climate change targets.
The Cluster would support economic growth and help position the UK to export low carbon products and CCS skills and services.