A feasibility study to bring a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project to the north-east has started, almost two years after the original £1billion venture was controversially shelved by the UK Government.
The scheme to consider bringing a similar project to the St Fergus gas terminal, near Crimond, started this week after it was announced by the First Minister earlier this month.
The study has now been welcomed by local MSP, Stewart Stevenson, who argued it showed a clear “commitment” to the north-east.
Last week, he had met with the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, to discuss the issue.
Mr Wheelhouse described the decision to scrap the CCS programme for Peterhead as a “disgrace” and a “lost opportunity for Scotland”.
Supporters of the groundbreaking scheme for Peterhead Power Station have claimed the project could have created hundreds of jobs locally.
And last night, Mr Stevenson said the port was “put at risk” by the initial project not going ahead.
He added: “The Scottish Government is doing what it can to mitigate against this and ensure that the north-east becomes a world leader in this innovative technology.”
Plans to introduce CCS in 2015 were shelved suddenly when the UK Government axed the project with an announcement on the stock exchange.
Shell and SSE in Peterhead had been bidding for £1billion in funding from the government alongside a competitor in North Yorkshire.
At the time, a spokesman for Shell said the firm was “disappointed” by the decision.
He added: “We have worked tirelessly over the last two years to progress our plans for this project.
“Shell remains committed to CCS – as our involvement in demonstration projects in other parts of the world shows – and view it as an important part of a low-carbon energy future.”