Plans unveiled for Scotland's first carbon capture and storage system at Grangemouth
Scotland has moved a step closer to a greener future with petrochemicals giant Ineos – founded by multi-billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe – today unveiling plans to develop the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) system north of the Border, at Grangemouth.
Ineos Chemicals Grangemouth, Ineos FPS, and Grangemouth Refinery operator Petroineos have joined forces with the Acorn CCS Project (whose partners include Shell) regarding the initiative – which aims to capture and store up to one million tonnes of CO2 by 2027.
The plan is for operation of the system, which will cover the entire Grangemouth site, to start that year, and linking Scotland’s “industrial heartland” to the Acorn CO2 transport and storage system in North-east Scotland.
CCS is a way of reducing carbon emissions, and involves capturing the CO2 produced by power generation or industrial activity, transporting, and storing it deep underground. Under this new agreement, it is hoped that there will be scope to capture further significant volumes beyond 2027.
The organisations involved in the latest announcement say it will help pave the way for Scotland to help meet its ambitious climate targets – the nation aims to reach net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045 – and comes ahead of Glasgow hosting the COP26 climate change conference later this year.
Ineos and Petroineos (a key supplier of aviation fuel, petrol and diesel) under the agreement join the Scottish Cluster, which unites communities, industries, and businesses to deliver CCS, hydrogen and other low-carbon technologies.
The two organisations own and operate one of Scotland’s largest manufacturing sites at Grangemouth, and, since taking ownership of the facility in 2005, its CO2 emissions have fallen by nearly 40 per cent. They also say that once the proposed CCS system is operational, this figure will rise to more than 50 per cent.
Additionally, Ineos says its businesses at Grangemouth have put in place roadmaps to lead the transition to a net-zero economy by no later than 2045, “whilst remaining profitable”.
Andrew Gardner, chairman of Ineos Grangemouth, said: “Ineos and Petroineos at Grangemouth recognise the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our industrial processes.
"We have already made significant reductions since taking ownership of the site and we are delighted to be taking this further by supporting the Acorn CCS Scottish Cluster bid. Once operational, the [CCS] system will provide an essential route to permanently and safely capture and store CO2 emissions for large industrial emitters throughout Scotland with significant positive impact for climate change and the country.”
Nick Cooper, chief executive of Storegga, the lead developer of the Acorn Project, said the project’s partners (Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy) welcome the tie-up with Ineos and Petroineos, saying it is a “really significant step in managing Scotland’s industrial emissions”.
He added: "The Acorn CCS and hydrogen project is advanced, highly scalable and has clear visibility of a large CO2 customer base.”
Ineos, which is also involved in CCS in Denmark, has a presence in 29 countries overall, having been founded by Sir Jim Ratcliffe in the late 1990s. His personal wealth was estimated earlier this year in the latest Sunday Times Rich List to have fallen to £6.33 billion.