Planning permission has been granted by councillors for a world-first Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) facility on the Aberdeenshire coastline.

Shell UK Limited, with the support of SSE Generation Limited (SSE), wants to develop the first commercial scale, gas-fired CCS project near Peterhead.

The project aims to capture a million tonnes of CO2 a year for 10-15 years at the existing SSE power station at Boddam.

An application for full planning permission for the onshore element of the project was approved by Aberdeenshire Council on Thursday (Thu, June 18).

The Buchan Area Committee had already given its backing to the scheme, but it was decided by Full Council as it is considered to be of national significance.

Councillors heard this type of development is needed to support the delivery of a carbon capture and storage network to establish Scotland as a centre of expertise in this technology.

The onshore works consist of constructing and operating a carbon dioxide capture, compression and conditioning plant, with three elements:

  • Modifications to the existing power station
  • Carbon capture, compression and conditioning plant
  • A CO2 export pipeline

The offshore elements are subject to an application to the Department of Energy and Climate Change and involve transporting the CO2 via new and existing pipelines and injecting it into the depleted Goldeneye gas reservoir, more than 2km under the seabed of the North Sea.

William Lindsey, project manager for CCS, told councillors carbon dioxide will be captured at the power station and transported offshore.

He said the proposal is sustainable and cost effective, not only bringing considerable local benefits, but leading the way to address environmental considerations.

Cllr Stephen Smith commended the applicants on the level of engagement with local residents and welcomed the proposal.

Cllr Alan Gardiner called it a fantastic opportunity and stressed the importance to Peterhead of leading the way. He said the application demonstrates Peterhead is open for business and welcomes new technology.

Cllr George Carr welcomed the application as a way to help the Energetica Corridor gain traction and to promote the region as leading innovation.

Energetica is a world class development corridor between Aberdeen and Peterhead offering unique investment and growth opportunities to energy, engineering and technology organisations of all sizes.

Speaking after the meeting, co-leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Martin Kitts-Hayes, said: “This is an innovative project, of national and regional significance which has been talked about for some time and we are pleased to allow it to progress.

“It also fits with the aims of the Energetica corridor which is intended to be a global showcase for energy technology development and energy efficiency.”

Co-leader Richard Thomson said: “A project of international significance such as this which uses cutting edge technology really showcases Peterhead and Aberdeenshire as a place ready and willing to do business.

“This area has long been recognised as an incubator for innovation, particularly in the oil and gas and subsea sectors, and completion of this project really will emphasise the range of tenchnology, innovation and skills we have to offer.”

You can see the report to Full Council on the committees section of our website:

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