Rishi Sunak to announce investment in carbon capture project

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to announce a multi-million-pound investment in the Acorn project, a carbon capture & storage infrastructure

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to announce a new carbon-capture investment project for Scotland, which could generate 21,000 jobs.

The multi-million-pound investment – called the Acorn project – is a joint venture between many global companies, including Shell and many other companies.

“We are making excellent progress in transforming our energy sector and, while we have yet to see the detail of this announcement, we welcome the UK Government’s recognition that Scotland is at the forefront of the energy transition,” said Neil Gray, Scotland’s Environment Minister.

“The Scottish Government has been urging the UK Government for well over a decade to commit to carbon capture storage in Scotland and I look forward to this much-anticipated update from UK Government on the Acorn project and for much-needed clarity on the timeline and funding.

What is the Acorn project?

The Acorn Project – which is reportedly being funded through £20b of the carbon capture and storage (CCS) budget – will use legacy oil and gas infrastructure to transport and store carbon in safe, permanent geological storage.

Based at the St Fergus gas terminal near Peterhead, Scotland, the project has been described as a “game-changer” for Mr Sunak's political strategy, which will be a “big deal for Scotland.”

What’s more, the project is expected to capture approximately 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, transporting it by using existing pipelines, for storage in one of three depleted North Sea gas fields.

Gray adds: “The development of strategically located carbon capture and storage infrastructure in our industrial clusters in the North East and Grangemouth will protect and ensure the just transition for important domestic industries into a low-carbon future and protecting jobs.”

Storegga, the developer of the Acorn project, will begin work on the project as soon as Mr Sunak announces the permission to do so. 

Additionally, the UK Government is committed to achieving the 2050 net zero target, according to energy minister Lord Martin Callanan.

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