Scottish Energy Minister urges UK Government to support Longannet CCS project

Longannet power station

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing yesterday urged the UK Government to support the Longannet carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at ScottishPower’s Fife coal-fired power station.

“The CCS project at Longannet is of huge significance, not just to Scotland but to the rest of the UK and Europe, and I am alarmed by recent reports that the project is at risk,” he remarked in a statement.

Ewing reported that First Minister Alex Salmond contacted Energy Secretary Chris Huhne last week to express his concerns and press for a speedy resolution of the situation.

His comments follow rumours that the project, which is the only contender left in the Government’s CCS demonstration competition, is to be dropped or postponed.

According to Ewing, the Treasury and the Department of Energy and Climate Change appear to be at loggerheads over the £1 billion support for the project.

“Following the failure of the UK Government to support the Peterhead CCS project four years ago, UK Ministers cannot stand by and allow this second project to fall and lose another opportunity to develop this crucial new energy technology,” says Ewing. “I urge the UK Government to do all it can to save this project.”

A decision over the award of £1 billion in government funds for a CCS demonstration project has been repeatedly put off, most recently by the current Coalition to allow for the inclusion of gas-fired power stations in competition.

But late last year, the only other remaining contender in the competition, E.ON’s proposed Kingsnorth scheme, withdrew citing economic conditions as not right.

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Related stories:
UK Government hints at scaling back of low-carbon technologies (7-Oct)
UK must maintain momentum in rollout of carbon capture and storage (12-Sept)
E.ON’s Kingsnorth drops out of UK carbon capture competition (21-Oct 2010)

13 October 2011