Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has visited Peterhead port for a brief on the carbon capture and storage ambitions of the north-east of Scotland.
Mr Bailey and a team from the Bank of England were briefed by Peterhead Port Authority and Storegga, the firm behind the Acorn carbon capture storage (CSS) project that is set to operate out of St Fergus.
Stephen Paterson, acting chief executive of Peterhead Port Authority, said: “We were honoured to host a visit by Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England, along with senior economist, Martin Seneca, and Agent for Scotland, William Dowson.
“They were joined by the board and senior management team of Storegga to share information on the plans for carbon capture and storage in North East Scotland.”
The North East project has entered the Track 2 process, which entails detailed negotiations with the government and continuing to develop the infrastructure needed to support decarbonisation in Scotland.
Acorn missed out on Track 1 funding in 2021, with projects in Wales and Teesside selected instead.
However, earlier this year prime minister Rishi Sunak announced the project was successful in the £1bn UK Government competition during a trip to Aberdeenshire as part of “Energy Week”.
Around 21,000 jobs are expected to be created by Acorn at peak, say developer Storegga, which is partnered with Shell, Harbour Energy and North Sea Midstream Partners on the carbon capture scheme.
Acorn will use infrastructure at the St Fergus terminal – which lands about 25% of the UK’s supply – to send CO2 underground into depleted gas reservoirs in the North Sea.
For the Peterhead region, the Tack 2 announcement ended a decades-long wait to get local CCS projects running, following cancelled projects in 2007 and 2015.
Recently, Acorn was awarded additional carbon storage licences in the North Sea by the UK regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority.
The additional licences expanded the system’s storage capacity to around 240 million tonnes of CO2 in total.
On the Bank of England visit, Nick Cooper, chief executive of Storegga, said: “It was wonderful to have the opportunity to share an overview of our work in North East Scotland with Governor Bailey, Mr Seneca and Mr Dowson.
“We’re heartened that these innovative technologies are being treated with an importance that will inject new momentum into the fight against climate change and supporting a greener economy.
“We’re pleased to be moving along in the Track-2 process, and look forward to working with government to deliver the benefits of job creation and upskilling, inward investment, fostering innovation in new technologies, and most importantly, decarbonising both Scotland and the UK.”