The three largest energy companies in the United Kingdom have teamed up on a plan to create an onshore pipeline that would capture and divert up to two million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Longannet power station in Fife to the North Sea.
Scottish Power, Shell UK, and National Grid view the plan as a way to clean up the facility and reduce its negative environmental impact. Longannet is Europe’s third largest coal-fired power station and is among the biggest polluters in the United Kingdom.
The companies want to use an existing natural gas pipeline for the project that currently runs from Falkirk to Peterhead.
If implemented, 280 km of pipe would divert the CO2 generated by power plants to storage sites such as depleted gas and oil fields.
The companies said they believed the existing pipeline would “not require any re-routing or modifications to enable the transportation of CO2.” They hope to have a demonstration system up and running by 2015.
“Work will begin on the new pipeline in 2014, with the overall aim to deliver a full chain post-combustion CCS scheme in 2015,” a spokesman for National Grid said.
“The existing 280 km pipeline will require a change of use from natural gas to transport carbon dioxide instead.”
The pipeline is part of a series of carbon capture and storage (CCS) plans that the Scottish energy industry has been working on for the past several years.
A study conducted by Scottish Enterprise found that CCS projects could create up to 5,000 jobs between the construction and operational phases. The study also suggested CCS has the potential to boost Scotland’s economy by more than $3 billion.
Scotland is recognized as having a competitive advantage in the field and is on its way to becoming the global leader of CCS.