Shell has signed a deal with the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to develop the world’s first Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project at a gas fired power station.
The deal makes some £100 million available for Front End Engineering and Design on the project at Peterhead, Scotland, and another announced in December in Yorkshire, which will create thousands of jobs during construction.
Peterhead is one of two CCS projects being supported by the government under the UK CCS Commercialisation Programme with £1Bn of investment, the other being the White Rose scheme adjacent to the coal fired Drax power station. Final investment decisions on both projects will be taken next year and their combined cost is expected to exceed £3Bn.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “We are investing around £100 million from our £1Bn budget to take the Peterhead and White Rose CCS projects to the next stage of development – which together could support over 2,000 jobs during construction and provide clean electricity for over one million homes.
“In late 2015 the projects will take final investment decisions, with the government taking decisions shortly after.”
Sub contracts are expected to be awarded to ten UK based companies including Technip which is establishing a UK CCS Centre of Excellence at its Milton Keynes office. The energy department is still discussing with other potential CCS projects what support could be given to them outside the current £1Bn programme. They include the Captain Clean Energy Project and the Don Valley CCS Project.
CCS projects allow carbon generated by power stations to be captured and piped to underground storage facilities. The UK has an estimated capacity for storing 70Bn tonnes of carbon, enough to store 100 years of current emissions from electricity generation.
The Peterhead project will transport carbon emissions to the North Sea Goldeneye gas field which is operated by Shell, joint developer of the CCS scheme with Scottish and Southern Energy. Shell UK chairman Ed Daniels said CCS schemes like Peterhead could help diversify the North Sea oil and gas industry and contribute to its long term commercial viability.
Photo of Peterhead Power Station: Iain Smith