A carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Scotland looks unlikely to go ahead after the firm behind it withdrew planning permission this week, blaming the poor economic climate and “funding uncertainty”.
CCS technology is very new and is seen as a way to bridge the gap between traditional fuels and renewable energy. It captures the carbon released when burning fossil fuels such as coal and gas, storing it deep underground.
Ayrshire Power Limited (APL) had intended to build a coal plant fitted with CCS technology in Hunterston, North Ayrshire, creating around 160 permanent jobs. The firm which is owned by Peel Energy claims the project is now “on hold”.
Muir Miller, APL’s project director said: “Whilst we believe we have a strong case to succeed in the planning inquiry, we cannot proceed with the significant risk that the current power station design and fuel mix could not be funded and built in the necessary timetable following the grant of consent… The timing of the economic slowdown and funding uncertainty have not worked in our favour.”
The news comes less than a year after the high profile collapse of ScottishPower’s Longannet CCS project. The Government’s £1 billion funding for that project is now up for grabs in DECC’s demonstration project competitions. Ayrshire Power has withdrawn Hunterston from these.