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Ayrshire Power postpones carbon capture and storage project

Scotland-based Ayrshire Power (AP) has announced that it is withdrawing its planning application for a new multi-fuel power station with carbon capture and storage (CSS) facility in Hunterston, North Ayrshire.

AP has taken this decision due to the level of uncertainty surrounding the ability to secure the necessary financial investment to build the power station. The decision means that a public inquiry about the development will not now proceed this autumn.

Hunterston is Scotland’s largest coal terminal and remains strategically important for the country, especially as part of the Scottish Government’s low carbon energy policy combining deepwater port facilities and direct access to the UK’s rail network. Over 500 direct and indirect jobs are dependent on the site.

‘While we believe we have a strong case to succeed in the planning inquiry, we cannot proceed with the significant risk that the current power station design and fuel mix could not be funded and built in the necessary timetable following the grant of consent,’ says AP project director Muir Miller.

“However, we remain convinced that this project could give Scotland a superb opportunity to lead the development of full-scale carbon capture and storage, which will be vital in reducing global emissions and accords with government policy to cut carbon emission and back-up intermittent renewable energy supplies.’

Miller adds that the project would create a large number of new jobs and he remains ‘excited by the chance to develop a CCS cluster that could store over one billion tonnes of CO₂ by 2050’.