In the last 18 months Scotland has seen an acceleration of activity related to carbon capture and utilisation and storage (CCUS).  Industry has become more engaged in helping to shape the way forward for the implementation of plans and projects that could see Scotland becoming a world class CCUS hub. The capture and storage of CO2 (CCS), and its potential to reduce large scale emissions, is well understood. However capture and utilisation of CO2 (CCU) is still an emerging industry, but one with great potential to transform manufacturing processes and support the decarbonisation of a wide range of Scottish industries.

In the last year the case for CCU has gained momentum in Scotland. Industry, the public sector and the research community came together throughout 2018/9 to help inform an innovation systems approach and national plan for CCU in Scotland. An international event in early 2020, brought together the CCU value chain and showcased the most advanced and promising CCU related technologies, highlighting the potential commercial opportunities that can emerge from capturing and utilising CO2 at scale.

It is imperative that momentum is not lost; so while challenges and policies are being developed to support CCU, a project is underway to develop Scotland’s first demonstrator hub that will help scale-up CCU technologies. The first stage of this, a high-level concept design, is being informed by a wide-ranging consultation of industry and other stakeholders throughout 2020.  The purpose is to ensure that the hub meets both emitters and CCU technology providers needs and expectations. Optimat Ltd have been commissioned by Scottish Enterprise to deliver this study. This involves extensive consultation through a series of 4 workshops and a mix of individual and small group discussions. Through this process, CO2 emitters and CCU technology providers can help co-develop the design and scope of the hub.

The output from this study will be provided to a parallel technical concept design study,  to be delivered by Wood Group UK Ltd, commissioned by Falkirk Council. The concept design will consider a range of CCU options including:

  • Industrial Biotechnology processes
    • Chemical processes
    • Direct use of CO2, such as for horticulture

The outcomes of these studies will help develop the business case for the CCU hub in Scotland and support progress to phase 2 and 3:

  • Phase 2 – Consideration of options identified in the concept design, appraisal of key locations with local partners and costing of viable options
  • Phase 3 – Identify funding options and set up partnership agreements to deliver plans for a hub as part of a sustainable manufacturing campus.