Equinor and SSE Plc – a multinational energy company headquartered in Scotland, have joined forces again to develop a second natural gas-fired power station with carbon capture technology, this time in Scotland. The new carbon capture plant will be able to absorb up to 1.5 million tons of CO2 per year.
“Today’s announcement marks a significant step towards a greener, more sustainable future for Scotland and the whole UK…Once up and running, CO2 emissions saved through this station alone will be the equivalent of taking 60 million cars off the road every year,” said Energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
The carbon capture capacity of 1.5 million tons of CO2 represents 15% of the UK Government’s goal to capture 10 million tons of CO2 annually by 2030. The CCS facility is expected to become operational by 2026. The deadline is ahead of another Equinor gas project in partnership with SSE Plc, announced in April 2021.
It is called Keadby 3 and is a 900MW natural gas power station with carbon capture technology to remove the CO2 from its emissions. The CO2 will be transported for storage under the Southern North Sea. The project is expected to come online by 2027.
Equinor and SSE Plc also plan to build together the first large-scale hydrogen power plant in the UK’s Humber region. This is an important initiative that not only underpins the UK government’s intentions of fully transitioning to a net zero economy but is also a pillar in the deployment of hydrogen fuel worldwide.
The two companies are actively expanding their exposure to carbon capture and storage projects. They seem to help the UK secure a longer-term future for natural gas in a net zero world. The carbon capture clusters in the UK gaining momentum is a signal the economy is focused on expanding clean energy investments.
The large-scale development of CCS and hydrogen plants is also crucial for bringing costs down so those technologies can take off from their current hard-to-implement stage.