Scotland’s net zero and energy secretary Michael Matheson has urged the UK Government to ensure the Scottish Cluster bidding for investment to deploy carbon capture infrastructure is fast-tracked.
In a letter to UK energy minister Greg Hands, Mr Matheson highlighted the Acorn project, based at the St Fergus gas terminal near Peterhead, as the most cost-effective and deliverable opportunity to develop a full-chain carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the UK
Mr Matheson wrote: “In the UK Government’s 2020 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, Ministers outlined a commitment to support two carbon capture clusters in the UK by the mid 2020’s and a further two clusters by 2030.
“The programme to sequence these clusters is now underway and the Scottish Cluster, led by the Acorn Project, considered the most advanced and well planned carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the UK, is bidding into this process.
“I trust that the UK Government fully comprehends that this is an essential CCS cluster for development and highly deliverable in the mid-2020s.”
Acorn project is ‘uniquely placed’
He added: “It is clear that the the Acorn CCS project is uniquely placed to be the least-cost and most deliverable opportunity to deploy a full chain CCS project in the UK.
“Therefore, it is clearly critical and highly logical that the UK Government would ensure that the Scottish Cluster is recognised as deployable in line with the UK Government’s mid-2020s deployment timeline.”
Mr Matheson said the UK Government should not “slow the momentum and engagement on decarbonisation,” by awarding the Scottish Cluster “anything less than Tack-1 status.”
The minster’s letter comes in the wake of another call, led by billionaire Sir Ian Wood, for the UK Government to support the Scottish Cluster.
Ten senior representatives of business organisations signed a letter sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to give his backing to the ambitious project to capture and store carbon using facilities across the area.