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Shell moves ahead on carbon capture, storage project in Scotland

02.24.2014  |  HP News

The proposal is part of a portfolio of major CCS projects supported by Shell. Others include the Quest oil sands project in Alberta, Canada, and Australia’s Gorgon project.

Keywords: [carbon capture] [carbon dioxide] [clean energy] [environment] [Europe]

The project, led by Shell, with strategic support from SSE, owners of the Peterhead gas power station in Aberdeenshire, aims to capture 10 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) over 10 years. It will generate enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of 500,000 homes a year. If successful, the project will represent the first industrial-scale application of CCS technology at a gas power station.

“The signing of this agreement is a hugely important step towards the UK delivering the world’s first CCS demonstration facility on a gas-fired power station. The project has the potential to make gas, already the cleanest burning fossil fuel, even cleaner,” said Ed Daniels, chairman of Shell UK. 

“CCS could be critical to reducing carbon emissions at a time of growing global demand for energy. The successful demonstration of the technology at Peterhead would be a step to proving its commercial viability as a tool for mitigating climate change. It could also help diversify the North Sea oil and gas industry ­ and so contribute to the sector’s long-term commercial health.”

“SSE is proud to be working with Shell on proposals to install this cutting-edge technology at our Peterhead plant,” said Paul Smith, managing director, generation, SSE. “CCS could play a major role in ensuring secure, low-carbon energy in the future, and we are pleased to be playing our part in its development"

The proposed initiative at Peterhead is part of a portfolio of major CCS projects supported by Shell. Others include the Quest oil sands project in Alberta, Canada, and the Gorgon project in Australia.

The agreement signed by Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, at Shell’s offices in Aberdeen, marks the start of a period of front-end engineering and design (FEED), which is expected to continue until 2015. 

Subject to positive final investment decisions by Shell and the UK Government and the receipt of all relevant consents and permits, the project is expected to be operating by the end of the decade.

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I guess you missed my point. R&D is a great thing, especially if it's funded by private investors. I was objecting to the excessive use of the taxpayer's hard-earned dollars for this sort of thing. If a project is economically viable, there will be plenty of private investors lining up. If it's a boondoggle, taxpayers will be asked to fork over money that they would have used for their own needs.


Obviously the project will have a cost - all projects do! If lowering greenhouse gas emissions was free, we would have done it years ago. The point is to see how cheaply it can be done, and to gain enough experience and expertise to lower the cost below the cost of local carbon taxes. Then Shell will have a product they can sell around the world. Its called R&D guys, and its good to see a company doing some.


As mentioned below, this project will certainly have some significant costs associated with it. If Shell is investing shareholders' money with the hope of earning a legitimate return, that's great! I wish them well! But if taxpayers and utility consumers will ultimately be forced into paying the bill, then the money that would have been used to maintain or improve their standards-of-living will no longer be available for that purpose. That's always the problem with publicly-funded projects... we will never see where the money would have gone if it hadn't first been confiscated by do-gooders in the public sector.

C J Booth

CCS is a temporary stop gap solution to the problem of CO2 emission. The process is costly to build and takes power away from the plant it is fitted to. In short it is difficult to justify financially. It does however buy time to develop the real solution to the problem, which in all probability will involve nuclear fission in a liquid phase reactor

William Vanderbrink

There is no mention of the costs associated with the design/construction phase of the CCS technology. Additionally, there is no mention of the cost of the electricity to be generated at the site.

The costs to the end user consumer is a very important portion of the project. If no entity desires to purchase/consume the product of the facility, how can it be economically feasable?

Numerous political figureheads use the mention of CCS as campaign talking points. Those political figureheads never mention the costs to consumers, then the costs to the economies of the nations involved.

If people are having to double or triple the amount they are spending on electricity due to an increase of CCS facilities, there is less money to spend at the grocery store, the shopping mall and the fuel station. That giant sucking sound you hear is the electrical utilities taking money out of local economies.

Ron Hypes

And how is the UK proposing to justify the cost per ton of CO2 capture? I refer everyone back to an earlier article written by Total's CEO regarding the cost of adding new technology to their refineries. This is a government supported tax grab not a well thought out approach to measurably improving environmental health and safety.

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