March 20, 2012
A group led by a US energy company is planning to build a coal-fired power station at a Scottish port.
Summit Power Group, based in Seattle, said it has entered into an agreement with National Grid and Petrofac to seek funding for the development of a low-carbon power plant in Grangemouth that will use Carbon Capture and Storage technology (CCS).
The Caledonia Clean Energy Project will be submitted to the UK Government for funding under the CCS Delivery Competition.
Summit said the plant would capture 90% of emissions to produce low-carbon electric power as well as hydrogen gas for commercial use.
The project site has been identified “to take advantage of synergies with other facilities for industrial gas supply and to support CO2 capture”.
Summit said the location close to the North Sea was ideal for CO2 storage and oil recovery opportunities.
The US company is currently developing a similar project in Texas and said it intends to replicate many aspects of that project at Grangemouth.
The Texas Clean Energy Project was awarded 450 million US dollars (284 million) by the US Department of Energy in 2010.
Proposals for a coal-fired power station at Hunterston in North Ayrshire were rejected by the local council last year.
A public inquiry is to be held before ministers make the final decision on whether to approve that proposed scheme, with the company – Ayrshire Power – vowing to fight on with its plans.
It was also announced last year that Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and Shell were to work together in a bid to develop CCS at SSE’s gas-fired power station in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, subject to government funding.
The agreement came less than a month after the UK Government announced it was abandoning plans for the country’s first coal-fired power plant with CCS technology to be established at ScottishPower’s plant at Longannet, Fife.
It had been the only remaining site in the Government competition for funding worth up to 1 billion to develop the technology.
Environmental campaigners were against the Hunterston proposal but Dr Sam Gardner, WWF Scotland’s senior climate change policy officer. is more welcoming of the Grangemouth plans.
He said: “Unlike the climate-trashing Hunterston coal proposal, the close proximity of this latest scheme to Grangemouth means it has the potential to reduce climate change emissions from the heavy industry located there.
“However, if it is to make a credible contribution to Scotland’s low carbon future, the developer must drop its plans to use the captured carbon dioxide to pump out more oil from the North Sea.
“In Scotland we have a choice, we could test CCS technology on gas at Peterhead and coal at Grangemouth and both could reduce our climate emissions. Or we could choose to ignore our climate targets, trash an important coastal environment and back the high-risk Hunterston proposal.”