Storegga is the lead developer of the Acorn project in partnership with Shell and Harbour Energy. 

It is an ambitious programme tackling climate change by dealing with industrial CO2 emissions and other ‘hard to decarbonise’ sectors. By making use of legacy oil and gas pipelines that are already in place, offshore geology that is ideal for permanently storing carbon dioxide (CO2), and a region that is embracing hydrogen as a fuel of the future, this project is an important enabler for the UK’s journey to Net Zero.

Acorn CCS

Acorn is one of the leading UK CCS and hydrogen projects. It can be operational by the mid 2020’s, providing a clear pathway for the UK to meet its net zero targets.

With ready access to existing offshore pipelines and well understood CO2 storage resource, including the licensed Acorn CO2 Storage Site, Acorn can provide a fast and cost-efficient way of establishing this essential net zero infrastructure.

This first phase of Acorn CCS offers a low capital cost start, that can be delivered by the mid-2020s – establishing the critical CO2 transport and storage infrastructure required for rapid build-out, including Acorn Hydrogen and the import of CO2 to St Fergus from ships at Peterhead Port and from Scotland’s industrial cluster in the Central Belt.

30% of the UK’s known CO2 storage resource (23.8Gt) lies within 50km of the offshore pipeline corridors at St Fergus. This resource could store the equivalent of 65 years of the UK’s 2018 emissions to enable the UK’s transition into a net zero future.

Acorn’s ready access to extensive CO2 storage will create an opportunity to support the UK with its decarbonisation goals, but also provide an opportunity to support the UK’s balance of payments, by importing CO2 from Europe, where there is less CO2 storage potential and provide a skills export opportunity as other countries around the world embrace the CCS technologies and processes pioneered at Acorn. This will help to subsidise the cost of decarbonising British industry, helping to keep it competitive.

Designated a European Project of Common Interest (PCI), Acorn is an important catalyst for clean growth opportunities in Scotland and in regions where CO2 transport and storage is limited. Acorn can help transform our carbon intensive industries into low carbon industries and sustain jobs.

Useful Links

CCSA video - Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage - enabling a clean and sustainable future for all

Acorn Hydrogen

Low-carbon heating is recognised by the UK’s Committee on Climate Change as one of the toughest challenges for UK climate policy. Around 85% of UK households currently use fossil-fuel based natural gas for heat.

The St Fergus gas terminal in North East Scotland, where the Acorn CCS infrastructure is being built, is the first landing point for around a third of all natural gas used across the UK.

Acorn Hydrogen can take North Sea natural gas and reform it into clean burning hydrogen with the CO2 emissions created from generating the hydrogen, safely removed and stored using the Acorn CCS infrastructure.

The first Acorn Hydrogen plant can be online in 2026. Initially, Acorn Hydrogen will focus on blending hydrogen with the natural gas that is piped through the National Transmission System across the UK.  Using this ‘blending at source’ method means that replacing only 2% of natural gas with hydrogen is equivalent to removing around 400,000 tonnes a year of carbon emissions from the National Transmission System with no impact at all on the way gas is used by the end customer. This is equivalent to the CO2 produced by 85,000 combustion-engine cars. The existing National Transmission System infrastructure and our gas boilers at home can reach 20% hydrogen, 80% natural gas.

Hydrogen is already being used as a low carbon energy source for several applications; from buses and trains to heating homes. And the east coast of Scotland is already delivering a host of innovative hydrogen projects to help Scotland work towards its net zero target of 2045.

Direct Air Capture

In partnership with Carbon Engineering, the leading Canadian pioneer of commercial scale direct air capture technology (DAC), we are in pre-FEED to build a first of its kind 1MPTA direct air capture facility in North East Scotland.  This facility will be connected by direct pipeline to the Acorn permanent storage facility.

In place of capturing CO2 at source, we will draw it directly from the atmosphere at our plant and then store it permanently and securely in the Acorn offshore storage reservoir. In effect, physical offsetting of carbon.

DAC is a proven technology for the removal of both current and historical CO2 emissions direct from the atmosphere. Our partner, Carbon Engineering, is the only provider of scalable and cost-effective liquid sorbent technology for direct air capture.