UK government awards Harbour’s Viking and Acorn CCS projects ‘Track 2’ status
The announcement marks an important milestone for the two projects, allowing them to move into front end engineering and design (FEED) and discussions with the government over the terms of the economic licences, ahead of final investment decisions.
Viking said it has the potential to transport and store up to 10 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030 and 15 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2035 with independently verified storage capacity of 300 million tonnes of CO2 across the depleted Viking gas fields.
The project could be transformational for the Humber region, potentially unlocking up to £7 billion (€8.1 billion) of investment across the full CO2 capture, transport and storage value chain between 2025 and 2035, creating over 10,000 jobs during construction and providing an estimated £4 billion (€4.6 billion) of gross value add (GVA) to the Humber and its surrounding areas.
The Viking CCS project can also enable, through its work with Associated British Ports at the Port of Immingham, the potential for shipped CO2 from dispersed emitters elsewhere in the UK and internationally to be transported for permanent storage within the Viking fields, creating a new industry for the UK.
Linda Z Cook, CEO of Harbour Energy, commented: "Today's announcement is an important step forward for Harbour's Viking and Acorn CCS projects and the development of the carbon capture and storage industry in the UK. It is also a further demonstration of the key role that the oil and gas sector is playing by using our existing infrastructure, skills and experience to build this new industry and help deliver the energy transition.
"Viking has the potential to be transformational for the Humber, the UK's most carbon intensive industrial region, creating thousands of jobs in the area and playing a vital role in supporting the UK to meet its target to capture 30 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030."
Responding to the announcement, Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax, said: “We welcome the government’s decision to designate Viking as a Track 2 carbon capture utilisation and storage cluster (CCUS). Progressing a CO2 transport and storage network in the Humber represents a significant step toward helping the region meet its Net Zero ambitions and ensuring that it remains a source of high-skilled jobs and energy security for decades to come.
“The announcement shows the importance of CCUS to the Humber and, along with the East Coast Cluster, creates an additional pathway to support our plans for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) at Drax Power Station. We are currently engaged in productive discussions with the UK government on this project and hope to invest billions in its development and deploy this critical, carbon removals technology by 2030.”