Costain to offer technical consultancy services for UK CCS project

WCN Editorial Team 3 Mar 2020 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

Costain, a British construction and engineering services company, has secured a contract from Pale Blue Dot Energy to provide technical consultancy services for the next phase of the UK’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project.

The Acorn CCS project is a low-cost, scalable carbon capture and storage scheme that will enable cost-efficient capture and storage of carbon emissions from onshore gas facilities at the St Fergus terminal in Scotland.

Additionally, the project will enable the Acorn Hydrogen project, where hydrogen from North Sea natural gas will be reformed into clean hydrogen for blending into the gas grid to decarbonise home and industrial heating across the UK.

The system is claimed to have been designed to enable other capture and storage projects including a provision of CO2 shipping facilities in Peterhead Port and to repurpose the existing Feeder 10 pipeline for capturing CO2 from Central Scotland.

The present phase of the project is led by Pale Blue Dot Energy, supported by study partners Shell, Total and Chrysaor. It is being partly funded through BEIS and INEA as a European Project of Common Interest.

The Acorn project has been designed to be built quickly, taking advantage of existing oil and gas infrastructure and well understood offshore CO2 storage site, with first UK CO2 appraisal and storage licence to be awarded by the Oil and Gas Authority.

By reusing existing high capacity onshore and offshore pipelines could save up to ₤750m for the overall project.

The St Fergus gas terminal receives nearly 35% of all the UK natural gas and offers direct access to the UK gas grid. It is also closely located to offshore CO2 storage sites, making it a better hydrogen production and CCS hub.

For its part, Costain will provide concept design, and front-end engineering design support such as onshore gas flue gas collection, CO2 capture integration, CO2 compression and conditioning located at St Fergus, along with offshore subsea systems design including the repurposing of the existing Goldeneye pipeline and a new CCS hub located near the Goldeneye Field.

The company will draw upon its expertise in large-scale gas processing and separation facilities including CO2 and hydrogen separation in petrochemical, refinery and ammonia production applications, for the project.

Costain energy sector director Rob Phillips said: “Hydrogen and CCS play a fundamental role in decarbonising gas for domestic and industrial heating, powering industry and large-scale transport.

“Large-scale and relatively cost-effective carbon capture at the source of production is key to unlocking this potential and is one of the many low carbon solutions Costain is progressing as part of leading the decarbonisation of the UK footprint and driving clean growth across the UK.”

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Image: Artist’s concept rendering of carbon capture from offshore and onshore oil and gas sources. (Credit: Costain Group PLC.)

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