SCOTLAND’S biggest polluting companies have drawn up plans to cut carbon from their operations by signing up to the county’s first carbon capture and storage project.
Ineos and Petroineos have joined the Acorn project by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for their operations at Grangemouth – leading the way for one million tonnes of CO2 to be captured and stored from the industrial hub a year by 2027.
A greater volume of carbon could be captured in future years.
Carbon capture and storage has received criticism over it being unproven at preventing 100% of carbon from escaping into the atmosphere – while environmental campaigners have labelled it a licence to continue extracting fossil fuels.
But the Scottish Government has placed carbon capture as a central part of plans to become net zero by 2045.
Earlier this year, insiders told the Herald that discussions had been held between Grangemouth operations and Acorn project officials in north east Scotland.
The Acorn project is currently in the front end engineering and design phase of development and is planned to be operational by the mid 2020s, with the potential of achieving more than half of the 10Mt per year of CO2 storage targeted by the UK Government’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution by 2030.
Andrew Gardner, chairman of Ineos Grangemouth, said: “Ineos and Petroineos at Grangemouth recognise the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our industrial processes.
“As a one of Scotland’s largest manufacturers and employers, we acknowledge that we are operating a CO2 intensive industry and we have a significant role to play in helping Scotland reach its net carbon zero target by 2045.
“We have already made significant reductions since taking ownership of the site and we are delighted to be taking this further by supporting the Acorn CCS Scottish cluster bid.
“Once operational, the carbon capture and storage system will provide an essential route to permanently and safely capture and store CO2 emissions for large industrial emitters throughout Scotland with significant positive impact for climate change and the country.”
Nick Cooper, CEO of Storegga, the lead developer of the Acorn project, added: “The Acorn project partnersStoregga, Shell and Harbour Energy are delighted that Ineos and Petroineos have entered into an MOU with Acorn, which is a really significant step in managing Scotland’s industrial emissions.
“The Acorn CCS and hydrogen project is advanced, highly scalable and has clear visibility of a large CO2 customer base. Acorn provides critical carbon reduction infrastructure to the growing Scottish cluster of emitters and to the wider UK.”