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Storegga to progress Acorn CCS project after completing funding round

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

Storegga Geotechnologies is to give the Acorn carbon capture and storage (CCS) project a financial boost after securing additional capital.

As part of its second funding round, the low carbon technology firm secured new investments from GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and Japanese global trading company Mitsui & Co.

Macquarie, Storegga’s “cornerstone investor”, also ploughed additional funds into the business.

Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Pale Blue Dot, Storegga is the lead developer of the Acorn CCS and hydrogen project based at St Fergus in Aberdeenshire.

The initiative is designated a European Project of Common Interest, providing solutions to help both the UK and Europe hit net zero.

It is expected to become operational in the mid-2020s and has the potential to store at least half of the 10 megatons a year of CO2 targetted by the UK Government by 2030.

Acorn could also serve as a major net zero hub, with Peterhead’s deepwater port allowing for the transport and storage of CO2 from across the UK and North West Europe.

A final investment decision on the project is expected at the beginning of 2022.

Developers are also aiming to repurpose existing oil and gas infrastructure to support the decarbonisation of Scotland’s industrial central belt.

Storegga said the funds raised would be used to progress “wider aspects” of the Acorn project, as well as to enable plans for a direct air capture facility and to support “ongoing business development activities”.

On top of the new investments, the Sussex-headquartered firm and Mitsui have entered into a non-exclusive agreement to initiate and progress further CCS opportunities in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Nick Cooper, Storegga CEO, said: “We are delighted that GIC and Mitsui are joining Macquarie as investors in Storegga. We welcome their vision and commitment to help deliver a net zero future.

“The UK is emerging as a world-leader in CCS and its associated low carbon technologies; today’s investment by these partners strengthens our ability to build a world class CCS project and help the UK to pioneer this rapidly growing sector.

“As a new, independent, company in this sector we bring a sharp commercial focus and ‘‘can do” attitude to our CO2 reduction and removal businesses. Our purpose is to drive the transition to a low carbon, and then no carbon economy.”

Erik Petersson, senior managing director in Macquarie’s commodities and global markets group, said: “Storegga’s Acorn Project is on course to be one of the UK’s first large scale carbon sequestration projects and, as a business that has been active in the country’s energy market for many years, we see supporting businesses like Storegga as a key part of our own energy transition journey.

“We are extremely excited to increase our support for this business and its projects, which we believe could provide a unique economic opportunity for Scotland and the wider UK. We look forward to working with two other world class investors, GIC and Mitsui & Co, to make Storegga the UK’s leading independent carbon reduction and removal company.”

Masaharu Okubo, COO of the energy business unit 1 Mitsui & Co, said: “We will work closely with Storegga’s management team and help accelerate its vision and commitment by using our extensive knowledge of the energy sector and strong global networks. Mitsui believes providing low-carbon solutions to hard-to-abate industries such as energy will be critical in achieving net-zero carbon targets. Through development of CCS projects globally, Mitsui will help create an eco-friendly society.”

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