SSE, Shell agree to progress project for carbon capture

SSE and Shell have signed a joint development agreement to progress a proposed carbon capture and storage project (CCS) at SSE’s gas-fired power station in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

In a statement, SSE said the agreement will enable the project to accelerate a programme of pre-FEED (Front-End Engineering Design) studies.

Following pre-FEED, the project is expected to be in a position to begin full FEED studies in the second half of 2012, subject to progress with funding proposals submitted under the EU’s NER300 process and developments in the UK’s CCS demonstration programme.

The project aims to design and develop a full chain, post-combustion CCS facility that will be capable of capturing CO2 from one 385MW combined cycle gas turbine unit at SSE’s Peterhead Power Station.

It is planned that the CO2 will then be transported to the Shell-operated Goldeneye gas field in the North Sea using, where practicable, existing infrastructure.

SSE said it will lead on all aspects of the capture plant at Peterhead, including initial compression and dehydration; with Shell examining all other aspects, including onshore and offshore transportation and storage.

In May 2011, the UK government announced that the Peterhead project was one of seven UK CCS applications to the European Investment Bank for consideration in the EU’s NER  (New Entrant Reserve) scheme to support CCS and renewable energy projects across the EU.

Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, said: ‘If long-term targets for reducing emissions are to be met, CCS technology must be applied as widely as possible. We therefore welcomed the government’s decision to include gas-fired generation plant in its CCS demonstration programme.

‘However, the development of a commercial-scale CCS demonstration project presents significant challenges and will require appropriate levels of support from both the EU and UK government.’