Project Acorn is a low cost CCS system in NE Scotland which could be operational by 2023. It will exploit redundant North Sea gas distribution assets. It is led by the CCS project development advisors Pale Blue Dot Energy and supported by expert partners from UK, Norway and the Netherlands who will explore options for similar projects around the North Sea basin. Centres of excellence from the USA (MIT) and China (UK-Guangdong CCUS Centre) will participate on the advisory board furthering global dissemination and impact.

This Phase 2 project is 18 months duration to ensure early positive impact and builds on previous research, including an appraisal of subsea CO2 storage sites and options to re-use gas distribution assets. Acorn is centred on the St Fergus Gas Plant north of Aberdeen. This is connected to offshore infrastructure which is potentially re-usable for CCS. St Fergus is also connected to the high emissions Central Belt region by a dedicated onshore pipeline. Acorn is a minimum viable development starting with CO2 capture from the Gas Terminal, and will explore options for build-out to other large-scale sources of emissions in the region and from CO2 tankers through Peterhead Port 5km to the south.

This Acorn Phase 2 is a small project in the Chain Integration theme. It will move the opportunity from proof-of-concept (TRL3) to the pre-FEED stage (TRL5/6). Leading edge research, aimed at increasing storage efficiency, integrity, policy development and life cycle analysis will be carried out. Norwegian and Dutch CCS policy experts will apply the lessons from the “real world” UK project to other North Sea regions.

At the end of this Phase 2, Acorn will be FEED ready and will deliver a re-usable blueprint for the decarbonisation of a region currently highly dependent upon the fossil fuel. Acorn has been identified by UK and Scottish Governments as a potential EU PCI project and is one of the most deliverable CCS projects in Europe.