Scotland's National Marine Plan

This Plan covers the management of both Scottish inshore waters (out to 12 nautical miles) and offshore

waters (12 to 200 nautical miles). It also applies to the exercise of both reserved and

devolved functions.

10. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

Objectives and policies for this sector should be read subject to those set out in Chapters 3 and 4 of this Plan. It is recognised that not all of the objectives can necessarily be achieved directly through the marine planning system, but they are considered important context for planning and decision making.



Economic Climate Change

Safe, cost effective and timely deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage ( CCS), assisting the delivery of Scotland's climate change objectives and positioning the North Sea as Europe's principal hub for surplus CO 2 storage, servicing electricity generators and heavy industry from sources throughout Europe.


Economic Climate Change

CCS available as a realistic low carbon deployment option for electricity generation in advance of 2020, and to support the decarbonisation of electricity generation by 2030, without affecting the security of supply.


Economic Climate Change

Scotland at the forefront of the development and deployment of CCS technology, putting in place successful commercialisation projects which promote the utilisation of existing infrastructure.


Economic Climate Change

To further develop CCS technology as a potential source of large scale CO 2 supply for use in Enhanced Oil Recovery processes in the North Sea.


Economic Climate Change

Initiate an Environmental Assessment, with relevant agencies, to allow early consideration of the environmental issues with deployment of CCS.

Key references

Carbon Capture and Storage - a Roadmap for Scotland

National Planning Framework 3

Scotland's Marine Atlas: Information for the National Marine Plan. Chapter 5: Carbon Capture and Storage. Pages 166 - 167.

National Marine Plan interactive ( NMPi). Productive/Oil, Gas and Carbon Capture and Storage section.

Part 1: Background and context

10.1 Carbon Capture and Storage ( CCS) is a set of technologies that has the potential to reduce CO 2 emissions from new and existing coal and gas-fired power plants and large industrial sources. CCS is a three-step process that includes:

1. Capture of CO 2 from power plants or industrial processes

2. Transport of the captured and compressed CO 2 (usually via pipelines).

3. Underground injection and permanent geologic sequestration of the CO 2.

10.2 The Scottish Government believes that CCS is a critical component in the decarbonisation of Scotland's energy supplies and that Scotland has a competitive advantage in the development of this technology.

10.3 The North Sea is the largest CO 2 storage resource in Europe and this, coupled with our existing oil & gas capabilities, ready supply chain and existing infrastructure means that Scotland is in a strong position to be at the centre of CCS development in Europe.

10.4 The Scottish Government has a clear policy to decarbonise electricity generation by 2030 and CCS will support this with potential to capture up to 90% of CO 2 emissions from fossil fuel power stations before they enter the atmosphere, thereby turning traditionally high-carbon fuels like coal and gas into low-carbon generation and transforming the way we generate power.

10.5 CO 2 can only be safely stored where geology is suitable. As such, CCS infrastructure is likely to have similar spatial characteristics to the offshore oil and gas industry. The technology required to capture CO 2 and then transport it to offshore storage sites continues to develop and the Scottish Government is funding various research studies and initiatives to advance understanding of this technology. The characterisation, modelling and analysis of geological store information available on selected North Sea storage sites is an example of the research underway in projects such as SiteChar [108] and CO 2 Multi-Store [109] .

10.6 A research project 'Opportunties for CO 2 Storage around Scotland', launched by the First Minister on 1 May 2009, highlights the offshore potential of the North Sea Scottish sector to store emissions for the next 200 years. The successor study, Progressing Scotland's CO 2 Storage Opportunities, published in March 2011, showed that the Captain Sandstone field alone could hold 15 to 100 years of CO 2 output from Scotland's power industry, offering up the prospect of 13,000 new low carbon jobs being created in Scotland by 2020.

10.7 A further study was completed by Scottish Enterprise in June 2014 and details how the combination of Carbon Capture and Storage with Enhanced Oil Recovery ( EOR) for the Central North Sea provides an excellent platform to position Scotland as a European hub for CCS and EOR.

CCS Commercialisation Projects

10.8 Piloting commercialisation of CCS will be key to its long-term development. The conversion of a Peterhead gas-fired power station ('Peterhead project') can pioneer CCS technology and make best use of existing infrastructure, helping to establish the area as a hub for CO 2 transport and storage. The Peterhead project is identified as a National Development in NPF3. It is on schedule to submit a planning application for the project in 2015 with a view to enter into operation in 2019/20. It aims to capture around 1 million tonnes of CO 2 per year from the existing gas power station and transport the CO 2 by existing pipelines for permanent storage in Shell's Goldeneye field (part of the Captain Sandstone field) approximately 100 km to the north east of Aberdeen. If built it will be the first commercial scale CCS project on a gas power station in the world.

10.9 Scotland's other key potential CCS project is the Captain Clean Energy Plant proposed for Grangemouth. This plant is a coal-gasification proposal which will capture the CO 2 and transport it through a pipeline to St Fergus, then offshore for storage in the Captain Sandstone field. Together the two projects provide clustering opportunities which will allow the linking and sharing of CCS infrastructure - a crucial enabler to the widespread deployment of CCS. [110]

Part 2: Key issues for marine planning


10.10 CCS is critical in helping Scotland to make significant carbon emissions reductions, as well as making a significant contribution to the security of supply and promoting economic growth opportunities.

10.11 Scotland has vast potential for CCS with significant offshore capacity (North Sea oil and gas industry) and infrastructure already in position, such as pipelines. Saline aquifers have a capability to store more than 200 years of Scotland's CO 2 output from its major fixed industrial sources [111] and many of the skills and engineering experience gained from the oil and gas industries are transferable to this new industry.


10.12 Marine planning can promote positive interactions between sectors supporting opportunities for shared use of infrastructure, including pipelines and utility corridors as well as the transfer of skills to deliver successful CCS commercialisation projects. The main sectoral interaction expected with CCS will be with Oil and Gas.

10.13 A new Centre for North Sea Enhanced Oil Recovery with CO 2 (CENSEOR-CO 2) was launched in May 2012. The Centre could boost jobs and growth in Scotland, accelerate development of CCS and increase the amount of oil removed from reservoirs beneath the sea by 5 to 25%. EOR may also serve as an economic enabler for the development of CCS as the CO 2 will gain a market value as a commodity for sale [112] .


10.14 CCS is predicted to have substantial environmental benefits, supporting the delivery of the Scottish Government's climate change policy by helping to achieve carbon emissions reductions.

10.15 Environmental impact will depend on the extent to which it is possible to use existing pipelines, installations and wells. It should also be noted that the environmental impacts may vary depending on the ease with which connections can be made between onshore power generation and existing offshore infrastructure.

10.16 Storage of carbon dioxide requires a permit, which can only be issued if the carbon dioxide is to be permanently contained. There nevertheless remains a very small risk that CO 2 might leak from storage into the marine environment and, ultimately, the atmosphere and this risk must be managed [113] . For this reason, monitoring and verification of the risks of leakage play an important role in permitting and determining mitigation options.

10.17 Failure should be planned for and agreed as part of risk assessment and project planning with consideration given to all potential impacts, including:

  • Habitat damage: The construction of new infrastructure required to deliver CCS could result in habitat damage or loss, siltation and smothering or reduction in water quality. Projects that involve the re-use of suitable existing redundant oil and gas infrastructure are likely to offer environmental benefits.
  • Acidification/Salinity changes: Whilst surface and seabed installations are the most likely source of environmental damage from CCS activity in the marine environment, CO 2 could cause local acidification with the potential for permanent effects on marine habitats if persistent. Whilst highly unlikely, larger scale leakage from deep ocean storage poses a risk of affecting marine ecosystems across a wider area.
  • Pollution: Solvents used in CCS and any discharged waters may carry contaminants, although water and scale volumes should be much less than oil and gas production.


10.18 As detailed above, CCS will reduce the levels of CO 2 released into the atmosphere and is therefore a mitigation measure to address climate change.

10.19 Climate change and associated sea level rise is expected to increase the incidences of coastal flooding and erosion. Wind and wave conditions may also become more severe creating harsher operating conditions for offshore installations. Developers should have regard to the future changes to sea level as well as potential changes in storminess, wind and wave conditions when designing and siting new land-falling components for CCS and new offshore structures, including pipelines and rigs.

Part 3: Marine planning policies

Economic Marine Ecosystem Climate ChangeCCS 1: CCS commercialisation projects or developments should be supported through an alignment of marine and terrestrial planning processes, particularly where proposals allow timely deployment of CCS to re-use suitable existing redundant oil and gas infrastructure.

Economic Marine Ecosystem Climate ChangeCCS 2: Consideration should be given to the development of marine utility corridors which will allow CCS to capitalise, where possible, on current infrastructure in the North Sea, including shared use of spatial corridors and pipelines.

Regional policy: Regional marine plans should consider the potential for CCS commercialisation within their area, particularly in light of the expected future activity set out in National Planning Framework 3.

Part 4: The future

10.20 The Scottish Government's aim is for Scotland to become a leader in CCS technology. More specifically, this would involve developing commercial scale deployment in Scotland, alongside the development of ancillary and support services and an appreciable share of global CCS business.

10.21 In order for CCS to make a significant contribution towards the decarbonisation of the electricity sector by 2030, its capacity to deliver required outcomes needs to be proven. The progress of the Peterhead project will be closely monitored and the Scottish Government will continue to encourage the European Commission to develop policy mechanisms to support and stimulate the development of CCS across the power and industrial sectors.

10.22 National Planning Framework 3 sets out the expectation that a CCS network may emerge around the Forth, where there is a particular cluster of industrial activities and energy generation, and the potential to link to existing infrastructure.


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