Welcome to the Acorn CCS virtual townhall.

This is our first round of public discussions about the Acorn Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project. Ordinarily we’d be holding these meetings face to face, but we can’t at the moment because we all have to stay safe. This online material and webinar is designed to:

The Acorn project creates the catalyst infrastructure that supports some really exciting growth opportunities for the community, but this virtual townhall focuses specifically on the Acorn CCS project. All future phases of Acorn will be subject to their own consultation and consenting process as they progress.

Acorn CCS

The Acorn Project is a phased development designed to make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 missions in our atmosphere.  The first phase of the project, and focus of this engagement, is the Acorn Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project.

Acorn CCS is designed to quickly, and cost effectively, implement significant and much needed carbon dioxide transport and storage capacity in the UK.  The first phase of the project will capture approximately 300,000 tonnes per year of existing industrial CO2 emissions at the St Fergus gas terminal complex in North East Scotland and transport them via the existing, now disused, offshore Goldeneye pipeline for safe, permanent storage at the Acorn CO2 Storage site, deep under the North Sea.

The Acorn Project has been designated as a European Project of Common Interest (PCI) and is an important catalyst for clean growth opportunities in Scotland, the UK and Europe.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, UK Government

‘The UK Government has been proud to work with Pale Blue Dot on the Acorn project since 2015 as we recognise that carbon capture, utilisation and storage is vital if we are to decarbonise industry across the country and meet our net zero ambitions.

This project opens up opportunities to both level up industrial regions and for the UK to be a global leader in this technology, creating significant new opportunities for British businesses, as part of a new industry where our expertise and natural resources assist other countries in their efforts to decarbonise.’

Ms Beatrice Coda, Head of CEF Energy at the European Innovation & Networks Agency of the European Commission

‘The Acorn CO2 SAPLING Transport and Infrastructure Project of Common Interest (Acorn CCS transport elements) was the first of its kind to receive EU funding through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to support the deployment of a strategic trans-European CO2 transportation infrastructure around the North Sea..’

Future phases of Acorn

Once the Acorn CCS project has established the critical first phase of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure required for the future development of the Acorn project, the next phases of the Acorn CCS project will involve:

Capturing CO2 from the planned Acorn Hydrogen project, which will produce CO2-free hydrogen from the natural gas currently coming ashore at St Fergus. CO2 from that process would be captured and geologically stored, before the hydrogen is delivered into the national gas grid. This would reduce the CO2 households emit when heating our homes and cooking our food using natural gas.

Importing CO2 through Peterhead Port for onward transport and storage at the Acorn Storage site. This is a major economic opportunity for the deep-water port and would bring existing jetty infrastructure back into active use. It would also mean the Acorn project can provide CO2 storage solutions for other industrial capture projects around Scotland, the rest of the UK and Europe which do not have access to the world class geological storage sites, deep beneath Scottish waters.


Re-purposing an onshore natural gas pipeline (Feeder 10) to connect Scotland’s industrial Central Belt with the Acorn Storage site. This allows these major, economically important and hard to decarbonise industries to capture their emissions with the confidence that they have a direct connection to transport and storage infrastructure. The ultimate outcome being a low carbon industrial cluster in Scotland.

All these phases of growth can be supported by development in the offshore transport and storage infrastructure, where there are two further existing offshore pipelines which are suitable for transporting CO2, and around 30% of the UK’s known offshore CO2 storage sites are within 50km of this pipeline corridor

That is a massive 23.8 Gigatonnes of potential CO2 storage – the equivalent to 65 years of the UK’s 2018 emissions and more than enough to support the UK’s safe and just transition into a Net Zero future.

The next phase of the Acorn Project will mean millions of tonnes of CO2 per year could be safely and permanently stored, preventing it from ever entering our atmosphere and contributing to climate change.

Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands

“Carbon capture, utilisation, and storage is a technology that is essential in delivering Scotland’s Net Zero emissions by 2045. CCUS is also supported by the analytical work of our statutory advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, in its advice to the Scottish and UK Governments. Only by working together can we not only enable the technology to capture emissions and meet our own Net Zero target as part of that international effort, but also capture the economic opportunities presented, where new jobs are created, and existing energy supply chain jobs are safeguarded. The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring these two vital objectives go hand in hand in helping to deliver a swift and just transition to a decarbonised economy.

The Acorn Project at St Fergus in Aberdeenshire is central to this essential transition and meeting Scotland’s domestic greenhouse gas emissions targets; it is a world-class carbon capture and storage project with access to vast areas of storage that will not only enable the decarbonisation of Scottish industry, but also offers opportunities to support decarbonisation in Europe and the rest of the UK, with associated economic, environmental and social benefits.  The Acorn Project can be a cornerstone of our route to Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, and this is why the Scottish Government strongly supports the continued development of this key project towards commercialisation.”

When can all this happen?

Thanks to the unique opportunities to use existing infrastructure and build on the well-understood CO2 storage resource, Acorn CCS could be the UK’s first CCS project, actively reducing CO2 emissions from the St Fergus gas terminal by the mid-2020s.

Right now the Acorn CCS project is actively working through its front-end engineering design programme which will be completed in mid-2021.

A number of key project decisions are currently being made, and we want to keep in communication with you as these progress. Keep up to date with all the latest news and developments on Acorn by signing up to the project newsletter.

We will share our next update in October where we will set out our plans for our formal public consultation.

Who is developing the Acorn Project?

The Acorn Project is led by Pale Blue Dot Energy (PBDE) with funding from the UK and Scottish Governments, and the European Union and support from industry partners, Shell and Harbour Energy.

How do I get in touch/find out more?

Our online presentation and question and answer session took part on Wednesday the 2nd of September, click here to listen again.

If you want to give us your views now, based on what you’ve seen on the website or read in the press then please email us.

If you want to register your interest in providing goods or services for the project, click here