A consortium led by ScottishPower, which recently qualified as an entrant to the Government's competition to develop the UK's first commercial scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project, is investigating the possibility of utilising a rock formation in the North Sea that could potentially store all of Europe's C02 emissions for the next 600 years.
The consortium is currently developing the technical aspects of their competition entry that aims to implement CCS technology at Longannet Power Station in Fife, one of four entries that have been shortlisted in the Government competition.
Engineers are working on plans to adapt two of the four burner units at Longannet - the largest power station in Scotland - to use CCS technology built by Aker, a Norwegian engineering group. The technology strips out carbon dioxide using chemical solvents. The gas would then be pressurised and liquefied, allowing it to be piped using existing oil and gas pipelines for secure storage beneath the seabed.
Nick Horler, Chief Executive of ScottishPower, said: "Longannet has the potential to become the centre of excellence for this technology. It is perfectly placed because of its proximity to the Central North Sea where the long-term storage options are excellent. It contains depleted gas fields which could be used for initial capture and an expansive under-sea aquifer which reports show has enough capacity to store all of Europe's CO2 for the next 600 years. It could become a hub, handling carbon emissions from all over Scotland and the North of England."
Notes to editors:
The ScottishPower-led consortium consists of Marathon Oil Corporation, Aker Clean Carbon and Aker Solutions. The partner organisations believe that they have the required mix of expertise and knowledge to develop a commercial scale CCS project that demonstrates the capture, transportation and storage of CO2 from a coal fired power station.
Media information - Simon McMillan 0141 566 4875 / 07753 622 257