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Study to explore using Acorn to bag emissions from ExxonMobil’s Mossmorran site

ExxonMobil Mossmorran Acorn
The Mossmorran plant. Credit Peter Moore.

US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM – $61.62c) has upped its involvement in a key Aberdeenshire decarbonisation project.

An Expression of Interest has been signed to study storing emissions from the Texas-headquartered company’s Mossmorran site through the Acorn project.

It adds to the Memorandum of Understanding signed earlier this year to capture and store emissions from gas terminals at St Fergus, near Peterhead.

The Aberdeenshire facility includes the SEGAL terminal, which Exxon jointly owns alongside Shell – the two supermajors also share Mossmorran.

Acorn, which is being developed by Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy, is bidding to be in the first wave of CCS clusters to be announced by the UK Government.

It has the potential to deliver more than half of the country’s target of capturing and storing 10 million metric tons per year of CO2 by 2030.

When expanded further, it could store more than 20 million metric tons per year of carbon by the mid-2030s, ExxonMobil said.

Other emitters looking to tap into Acorn include Ineos’ Grangemouth refinery and SSE Thermal’s Peterhead Power Plant.

The Acorn project at the St Fergus gas terminal is pioneering the development of CCS in the UK.

Mossmorran, also known as the Fife Ethylene Plant, recently completed a £140 million investment program to upgrade key infrastructure and introduce new technologies.

A further project is underway to install an enclosed ground flare.

Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, said: “The application of carbon capture and storage technology at the Fife Ethylene Plant demonstrates our commitment to reducing CO2 emissions from the industrial sector.

“With the right government policies in place and industry collaboration, the carbon capture and storage opportunities we are evaluating, such as in Scotland, have the potential to move forward with current technologies for large-scale, game-changing emissions reductions.”

Martin Burrell, plant manager of the Fife Ethylene Plant, added: “The Acorn project has the potential to capture and store CO2 emissions from Scotland’s largest industrial center, which is an economic engine for the country.

“This agreement allows us to explore the potential for significant emissions reduction through carbon capture and storage, and ensure Scotland continues to benefit from vital manufacturing facilities such as Fife.”

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