Tayside and Central Scotland

Grangemouth and Peterhead make carbon capture shortlist

Power station
Image caption The CCS scheme at Peterhead has made it to the final shortlist of the UK government competition

Two Scottish bidders have made the shortlist for the next phase of the UK government's £1bn Carbon Capture Scheme (CSS) Competition.

Grangemouth and Peterhead have been selected along with two other projects as potential sites to demonstrate CCS technology.

The other bidders are the Teesside Low Carbon Project and the White Rose Project at Drax in North Yorkshire.

A decision on which projects will go ahead will be taken in the new year.

The four were narrowed down from eight after a process of evaluation that considered each project's deliverability, value for money, and the government's aim of creating a UK CCS industry in the 2020s.

The final projects will now take part in intensive negotiations with the government.

High potential

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, said the bids had been of a high quality.

He said: "The projects we have chosen to take forward have all shown that they have the potential to kick-start the creation of a new CCS industry in the UK, but further discussions are needed to ensure we deliver value-for-money for taxpayers.

"Today's announcement is an important step towards an exciting new industry, one that could help us reduce our carbon emissions and create thousands of jobs.

"We have one of the best offers in the world and are a leading country in Europe."

'Exciting opportunity'

Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said the two Scottish schemes had the potential to lead the way in carbon capture technology.

He said: "The UK government is committed to reducing our harmful emissions and we are supporting the development of carbon capture and storage as we look to new ways to protect the environment in future.

"The £1bn competition is an exciting opportunity for the projects at Grangemouth and Peterhead to make the case for CCS."

Dr Sam Gardner, senior climate change policy officer at WWF Scotland, said he was pleased to see two Scottish bids going into the next phase.

He said: "It is good news that the Peterhead CCS proposal has made the shortlist.

"Demonstrating carbon capture on this existing gas power station enables us to develop the technology and cut emissions from our energy sector whilst we transition to a renewable future.

"While the Grangemouth scheme has the potential to develop CCS technology for use with the heavy industry located there, it would still mean the construction of an additional fossil fuel power station."

Further uncertainty

But Labour's Shadow Energy Minister, Tom Greatrex, said the announcement marked another delay for the projects.

He said: "The UK should be at the cutting edge of developing carbon capture and storage. But yet again Ed Davey has kicked a decision about support for CCS into the long grass, creating more uncertainty for the industry.

"We are now at risk of losing our competitive advantage in developing low carbon technologies, engineering expertise and valuable skills that we could export around the globe.

"Months after they launched the latest competition, ministers have still not said how much money the government will allow for each project and when, or how many of these projects they expect to survive to the end of the process."

North Sea storage

The CCS proposal at Grangemouth is led by Summit Power and involves Petrofac, National Grid and Siemens.

The scheme named the Captain Clean Energy Project, would see the creation of a new 570MW "low emission" coal power station with CO2 pumped into storage in offshore depleted gas fields.

At Peterhead, Shell and SSE plan to retrofit part of the existing gas power station to capture CO2 emissions after combustion.

The greenhouse gas would then be transported to the Shell-operated Goldeneye gas field in the North Sea using, as far as possible, existing pipeline infrastructure.

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