A proposed industrial decarbinsation project in Scotland has signed new agreements that could lead to waste carbon dioxide from a new blue hydrogen facility on the Thames Estuary east of London being shipped up the coast of the UK for storage under the North Sea.

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The Acorn Project, which is set to provide the CO2 transport and storage infrastructure for the Scottish Cluster decarbinisation scheme, on Tuesday announced a new memorandum of understanding with Project Cavendish, a collaboration between Arup, VPI, National Grid Ventures, Shell, SSE Thermal and Uniper.

Project Cavendish is aiming to establish a 700-megawatt hydrogen production facility based on the Isle of Grain in Kent and is looking to use the Acorn CO2 transport and storage system by early 2027 to handle its emissions.

The CO2 created while generating hydrogen from natural gas could be collected and sent by ship to Peterhead Port, which has also just joined the Scottish Cluster, signing an MoU with the Acorn Project to support the feasibility and early design work for a dedicated CO2 handling terminal at the port by 2026.

Nick Cooper, chief executive of Storegga, the lead developer behind Acorn, said: “The signing of the MoU’s with Project Cavendish and the Peterhead Port Authority demonstrates how the Scottish Cluster can decarbonise not only Scottish emitters but those throughout the UK and Europe.

“The Acorn Project is strategically located in Aberdeenshire to make best use of legacy oil and gas infrastructure and Scotland's excellent offshore geology for CO2 storage.

“This, combined with access to the deep-water port of Peterhead, which offers significant CO2 import capabilities, means that the Scottish Cluster is able to support the urgent decarbonisation of industrial clusters across the UK, with the Cluster conservatively expected to be managing more than 60% of the UK Government’s overall CO2 capture and storage by 2030.”

Several schemes are hoping to be selected as the UK’s first commercial deployment of carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) technology.

Later this month, two contenders are expected to be chosen by the government as the first to receive funding to help them become operational by 2025.