Petrofac gets nod for Acorn carbon capture and hydrogen project

A north-east carbon capture and hydrogen production project has reached key milestone with the appointment of a major contractor.

Aberdeenshire firm Pale Blue Dot Energy has selected Petrofac to support front end engineering design and concept select work on the Acorn project at St Fergus gas terminal, near Peterhead. Project partners want to reform North Sea natural gas into clean hydrogen, with carbon dioxide emissions safely mitigated through the carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure. Acorn holds the first UK CO2 appraisal and storage licence to be awarded by the Oil and Gas Authority.
The project is supported by energy firms Chrysaor, Shell and Total and has secured funding from the EU and UK and Scottish governments. Ian Phillips, Acorn project director said: “Pale Blue Dot is pleased to be in a position to appoint Petrofac – a partner with much of its history rooted in Aberdeenshire – to support the next critical phase of the Acorn project. “Petrofac’s appointment represents another key milestone for Acorn, which is on track to establish critical low carbon energy and CCS infrastructure in the mid-2020s.”

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Petrofac is actively expanding its renewable energy portfolio, with a focus on CCS, offshore wind and concentrated solar power. John Pearson, chief operating officer, Petrofac Engineering and Production Services, said: “The Acorn project represents an exciting shift in the north-east’s energy dynamic and an important catalyst for sustainable energy growth generally.

“Like our existing wind portfolio, CCS and hydrogen require the sophisticated engineering and project management skills that we have developed in oil and gas.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to deploy this expertise, alongside our proven systems and technologies, in support of Pale Blue Dot Energy and its landmark project.”