ExxonMobil has increased its participation in the proposed Acorn carbon capture project in Scotland by signing an expression of interest to capture, transport, and store CO2 from its Fife ethylene plant.
The agreement to include the ethylene plant, in Mossmorran, Scotland, is in addition to a memorandum of understanding to capture and store emissions from gas terminals at the St Fergus complex at Peterhead, Scotland, which includes ExxonMobil’s joint venture gas terminal (OGJ Online, July 16, 2021).
Acorn CCS repurposes existing gas pipelines to take CO2 directly to the offshore Acorn CO2 storage site. The project plans to capture and store some 5-6 million tons/year (tpy) of CO2 by 2030.
Acorn can potentially store more than half of the UK government’s targeted 10 million tpy CO2 storage, and when expanded has the potential to store more than 20 million tpy by mid-2030.
The Acorn project recently announced plans to capture and store CO2 from the Grangemouth Refinery, and the addition of Mossmorran facilities will help Scotland reduce emissions in its industrial sector (OGJ Online, Sept. 23, 2021).
The Fife Ethylene Plant recently completed a $170 million investment program to upgrade key infrastructure and introduce new technologies to improve operational reliability and performance (OGJ Online, Sept. 25, 2019). A further project is under way to install an enclosed ground flare. On schedule to be operational by end 2022, the unit is designed to reduce noise, light and vibration, and it is estimated the investment will reduce the use of the plant’s elevated flare by at least 98%.