A consortium led by ScottishPower is investigating the possibility of using a rock formation in the North Sea to store CO2 emitted from power plants.
The consortium aims to implement carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at the Longannet power station in Fife.
To do so, 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, the 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 is perfectly placed because of its proximity to the central North Sea where the long-term storage options are excellent.’
The area contains depleted gas fields that could be used for initial capture, and an expansive under-sea aquifer that reports show has enough capacity to store all of Europe’s CO2 for the next 600 years.