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Planned carbon capture plant could contribute £660 million to Scottish economy, developer says

20 May 2022

A planned new low-carbon power station at SSE Thermal’s Peterhead site in Aberdeenshire, UK could generate significant benefits to the Scottish and UK economies over its lifetime, according to a new report. The project is being jointly developed by energy companies SSE Thermal and Equinor.

Image: SSE Thermal
Image: SSE Thermal

The ‘Powering the Next Generation’ report highlights the potential socio-economic benefits of Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station.

The proposed plant could become one of the UK’s first power stations equipped with a carbon capture plant to remove COfrom its emissions and would connect into the Scottish Cluster’s CO2 transport and storage infrastructure, which underpins plans to deliver one of the UK’s first low-carbon industrial clusters, the report says.

Based on analysis from BiGGAR Economics, the report highlights the scale of the economic impact at a local, Scottish and UK level. In total, it is estimated that £2.2bn will be invested throughout the development, construction and the first 25 years of its operational life.

£60m is expected to be contributed to the Aberdeen City and Shire economy during development and construction, with 980 years of employment supported. Over the station’s operational lifetime, it is estimated that around £25m will be added to the wider Aberdeen economy each year, with around 240 jobs supported on an annual basis.

On a Scotland-wide level, the analysis shows that £190m would be added to the economy during development and construction, with 3,070 years of employment supported. Across the lifetime of the station, an average of around £35m would be added to the Scottish economy annually with 290 further jobs supported each year.

Finally, at a UK level, the report estimates that £470m would be added to the economy through development and construction, as well as 7,850 years of employment. On an annual basis once operational, the plant would contribute an average of around £50m to the UK economy and support 560 jobs.

Net Zero and Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Carbon capture, utilisation and storage is critical for meeting, not only Scotland’s statutory emissions reduction targets, but those set across the UK. Indeed, advice from the Climate Change Committee describes the technology as a “necessity, not an option”. The innovative Peterhead CCGT Power Station is a fantastic example of how Scotland’s energy sector can make the transition to net zero and – as this study demonstrates – benefit the Scottish economy, providing employment and a just transition for our workforces.

“It shows just how important it is to invest now in carbon capture technology. Which is why the UK Government must award the Scottish Cluster clear and definitive Track-1 status. We continue to press them to reconsider their decision and work in collaboration with the Scottish Government to accelerate support for the energy transition in Scotland. This includes offering £80 million under our Emerging Energy Technologies Fund to accelerate the Cluster’s deployment.”

In addition to their plans at Peterhead, SSE Thermal and Equinor are also working in collaboration on three low-carbon projects in the Humber region in England, including Keadby Carbon Capture Power Station in North Lincolnshire. In addition, Keadby Hydrogen Power Station at the same site would be the world’s first major 100% hydrogen-fuelled power station, while Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, on the East Yorkshire coast, would be one of the world's largest hydrogen storage facilities.

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