• Mitsui invests in carbon capture and storage

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      Greg Kelsall

The Acorn CCS project, Scotland

Mitsui & Co announced recently an investment in Storegga Geotechnologies (SG), the lead developer of a major carbon capture and storage (CCS) project to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint in support of its 2050 net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target.  Mitsui is taking a 15.4% share in SG which is developing the Acorn CCS project to inject and store carbon dioxide emissions in depleted North Sea oil and gas reservoirs using existing offshore and onshore pipeline infrastructure to reduce costs.

The project, which holds the first CO2 appraisal and storage licence issued by the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority, is being led by Pale Blue Dot Energy, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SG, with support from Australia-based Macquarie Group Limited (21.5% shareholding) and Singapore-based GIC (15.4% shareholding).

In addition, Mitsui will cooperate with SG to identify and develop further CCS opportunities in Europe and Asia Pacific in line with its commitment to sustainable projects that reduce climate change risks.

Masaharu Okubo, Chief Operating Officer of the Energy Business Unit 1 said: “We will work closely with Storegga’s management team and help accelerate its vision and commitment by using our extensive knowledge of upstream oil and gas industries and strong global networks.  Mitsui believes providing low-carbon solutions to hard-to-abate industries such as energy will be critical in achieving net-zero carbon targets.  Through development of carbon capture, utilisation and storage projects globally, Mitsui will help create an eco-friendly society.”

The Acorn project, which has been designated a ‘European Project of Common Interest’, is expected to be operational by the mid-2020s.

Pale Blue Dot is also participating in an industrial cluster funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the second phase of its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) ‘decarbonisation of industrial clusters: cluster plan’ competition.  The project, called SNZR (Scotland’s Net Zero Roadmap), secured £845k of funding as part of a drive to create the world’s first net-zero emissions industrial zone by 2040.  It is also in the running to secure a share of the £170m ISCF funding for FEED studies leading to the deployment of the infrastructure to achieve this ambition, which is due to be announced in the next month or two.  The aim is to establish at least one low-carbon industrial cluster by 2030.  The carbon dioxide captured from the Scottish industrial cluster would be fed via the repurposed onshore Feeder 10 pipeline to the St Fergus terminal ready for storage in the Acorn offshore storage site.