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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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WHITEFORD WELCOMES PLANS FOR PETERHEAD CARBON CAPTURE

Thursday, 8 July 2010

PETERHEAD BID TO BE AT CENTRE OF CARBON CAPTURE REVOLUTION

Banff and Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed today's announcement that Scottish and Southern Energy plc is to develop a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project at its gas-fired power station at Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

The project would demonstrate post-combustion capture of carbon dioxide emissions relating to the electricity output of the equivalent of 400MW of capacity.  It would involve using an existing gas turbine, an existing steam turbine, an existing electricity network connection and land adjacent to the power station already owned by SSE.

A earlier proposal to capture carbon dioxide emissions at Peterhead, and then export them to the North Sea for enhanced oil recovery and ultimate storage, was abandoned in 2007 because the previous Labour Government refused to provide certainty over the policy framework required or financial support.

Commenting, Dr Whiteford said:

"This is great news for Peterhead and excellent news for Scotland's renewable sector given we have some of Europe's largest carbon storage reserves in our North Sea oil and gas fields combined with the expertise on how to access them.

"SSE are to be commended for their continuing commitment to carbon capture and this project has huge environmental potential, and must be embraced by the government. This has been a key campaign for the SNP, and Alex Salmond, as First Minister and as the former local MP, battled to bring the development of carbon capture to the area. I am delighted that these longstanding efforts may soon be realised.

"This project would put Peterhead at the cutting-edge of carbon capture technology.  The UK Government must now recognise the very strong case which exists for this project going ahead and the investment it will bring to Peterhead.

"People have not forgotten that Peterhead could already have been three years ahead of where it is now had the last Labour Government not decided to pull back from its support for the previous carbon capture project."


SNP Westminster Energy spokesperson Mike Weir MP, who lodged an amendment to the Energy Bill earlier this year to extend the CCS levy and allow gas projects to be included, also hailed the news. 

Mr Weir added: 

"For too long, the UK Government has dithered over developing this vital resource and the new administration must finally take steps to support the sector. 

"Scotland could have been the world leader in CCS had the last Labour government given sufficient backing to the proposed development at Peterhead, instead it let that go overseas with its blinkered attitude to only developing coal based CCS."

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