Storegga, through its wholly owned subsidiary Pale Blue Dot Energy, Shell, and Harbour Energy (“Harbour”), the partners in the Acorn Project, one of the largest and most mature UK CCS and hydrogen projects, have today become equal partners in the project through the signing of the Acorn Development Agreement (“ADA”). As equal partners, Storegga, Shell and Harbour will develop Acorn through to Final Investment Decision (“FID”), construction, operation and beyond.
The Acorn CCS and Hydrogen Projects could provide critically important CCS and hydrogen infrastructure, helping industries and homes across Scotland and the UK to decarbonise. It is anticipated to be operational in the mid-2020s, providing a clear pathway to help Scotland and the UK to meet their net zero targets. Using CO2 from the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire, from Scotland’s carbon intensive industries and imported CO2 from the rest of the UK and Europe into Peterhead Port, Acorn is expected to be storing at least 5Mt/yr of CO₂ by 2030, half the CO2 emissions set out in the UK Government’s Ten Point Plan for a green Industrial Revolution by 2030.
The Acorn Project has a broader role to play in decarbonising the energy system, taking North Sea natural gas and reforming it into clean-burning hydrogen, with the associated CO2 emissions safely captured and stored under the sea at the licensed Acorn CO2 Storage Site. This could be operational by the middle of the decade, supporting industrial, power, mobility and domestic customers in North East Scotland and beyond through transportation within the natural gas system.
Nick Cooper, CEO of Storegga said:
‘Safely and securely managing and removing the emissions of industry and society is our core business, this agreement cements our relationship with our industry partners, Shell and Harbour Energy, and allows us to look forward with confidence to the next few years as we race to tackle climate change in a way that’s sustainable, cost efficient and deliverable.’
Commenting on the agreement, Steve Phimister, Shell UK’s Upstream Director, said:
‘Shell will seek to have access to an additional 25 million tonnes a year of carbon capture and storage (CCS) capacity by 2035. We have large scale projects being developed in Australia and Norway, and a facility in Canada already capturing 1 million tonnes per year. But to reach net zero the world needs much more CCS capacity. The Acorn project is an exciting vision for how we could help deliver that for Scotland and the UK.’
Phil Kirk, Harbour Energy’s Group President and CEO Europe, said:
‘Investing in carbon capture and storage initiatives is part of Harbour Energy’s commitment to a low carbon future and attaining our operational goal of Net Zero by 2035. We are delighted to continue working in partnership with Pale Blue Dot Energy and Shell on what is an important catalyst project for supporting decarbonisation of this region.’