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Senior Scottish Conservatives in visit to SSE Thermal’s Peterhead Power Station

Posted: 28th September 2023

Four senior politicians from the Scottish Conservative Party paid a visit to SSE Thermal’s Peterhead Power Station to learn more about plans to decarbonise the site using carbon capture technology.

The plant plays a critical role in keeping the lights on in Scotland, providing flexible power to back up renewables. As part of the push to net zero, SSE Thermal and Equinor are developing Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station, which could become Scotland’s first flexible power station equipped with carbon capture technology.

The visit was an opportunity for David Duguid, MP for Banff & Buchan; North East Scotland MSPs Douglas Lumsden and Liam Kerr, and Central Scotland MSP Graham Simpson to discover more about carbon capture and to meet the next generation of apprentices and graduates on-site who could build a career at the proposed power station.

In July, SSE Thermal’s carbon capture plans received a major boost from the UK Government after it announced support for the Scottish Cluster. The Acorn Project, which underpins the Scottish Cluster, had been in ‘reserve’ status since late 2021 but has now been officially named as a Track 2 Cluster [1]. Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station would plug into the Scottish Cluster’s CO2 transport and storage infrastructure.

David Duguid, MP for Banff & Buchan, commented, “It’s always a pleasure to visit Peterhead Power Station and I was delighted to welcome my party colleagues to see SSE Thermal’s progress in carbon capture and to engage with staff throughout the station – particularly given their respective portfolios in net zero, skills and education.

“Peterhead Power Station is a significant employer in my constituency and SSE Thermal and Equinor’s carbon capture plans offer the north-east a secure and sustainable energy future.”

Andy Underwood, Project Director for Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station, said: “We need low-carbon flexible power to provide backup to renewables as we move to net zero and our proposed plant at Peterhead will deliver that while supporting a just transition in the region.

“We have several young apprentices and graduates forging careers at Peterhead and I know it was particularly special for our visitors to meet with them and discover the role they’re playing in delivering a low-carbon future for the north-east of Scotland.”

The proposed Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station would have a generating capacity of around 910MW and would capture up to 1.5MT of carbon annually, which represents around five per cent of the UK Government’s 2030 target.

According to a report commissioned from BiGGAR Economics, the new development would contribute £60m 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 would be added to the wider Aberdeen economy each year, with around 240 jobs supported on an annual basis.

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