Summit Group announces bid to build carbon capture and storage plant in Scotland

March 21, 2012 by Bob Yirka weblog

( -- For several years the government of the United Kingdom has been trying to build a low-carbon coal fired power plant by means of competitions between companies seeking the £1 billion reward that would go along with such a contract. The last go-round wound up with just one competitor, Scottish Power whose bid faltered in the end due to it being too expensive. This time an American conglomeration called the Summit Power Group has jumped into the fray by partnering with the National Grid, an electric and gas company that provides service to customers in the United Kingdom and parts of the United States and petroleum company Petrofac. Their idea is to build a Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) coal fired power plant to be located in Scotland’s Port of Grangemouth, that Summit says will release 90% less carbon emissions than conventional plants.

Summit’s boast is not just marketing hype, they’re already in the middle of building a similar plant in Texas paid for by a grant from the US government.

The bid for the plant is due to the UK’s & Storage Delivery Competition. If built, the plant would be called the Caledonia Clean Energy Project, situated west of Edinburgh on the Firth of Forth; a location chosen due to already existing oil and gas pipeline facilities. In addition to using coal to create electricity, the plant would also produce hydrogen gas for sale to commercial customers. Also, because the location is close to the North Sea, the CO2 that is removed during the process of making electricity could be easily moved and sequestered under the sea for storage, by Petrofac which just happens to have a subsidiary company called CO2DeepStore that does just that.

The group says that unlike Scottish Power, who estimated the project would cost £1.5 billion, they can get the job done for the £1 billion that the competition dictates. One possible hiccup thus far though is Summit’s plan to use the CO2 extracted, rather than sequester it, at a later date, as part of an enhanced oil recovery process under the North Sea, which has environmentalists worried.

Summit also says that it is able to capture carbon during the process more efficiently than other because it doesn’t actually burn the coal used in the plant. Instead, they say, a chemical process is used.

Explore further: European power plants boosting coal use

More information: Press release

Related Stories

European power plants boosting coal use

April 24, 2008

High oil and natural gas prices, coupled with increased demand, are driving Europe's return to coal-fired power plants, an industry official says.

New CO2 'scrubber' from ingredient in hair conditioners

March 24, 2010

Relatives of ingredients in hair-conditioning shampoos and fabric softeners show promise as a long-sought material to fight global warming by "scrubbing" carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the flue gases from coal-burning electric ...

Recommended for you

New technique spots warning signs of extreme events

September 22, 2017

Many extreme events—from a rogue wave that rises up from calm waters, to an instability inside a gas turbine, to the sudden extinction of a previously hardy wildlife species—seem to occur without warning. It's often impossible ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

2 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2012
Are the wee Scotsmen going to plant trees? Otherwise they are wasting my time and their money.
not rated yet Mar 21, 2012
What is needed is some easy way to take the atmospheric CO2 and use some sort of catalyst to split it into O2 and C then you could collect up the C to sell as fuel and let the O2 escape into the atmosphere. Of course you'd need some sort of energy source to drive the splitting. Maybe a catalyst that used sunlight. Yes that would do it...

...oh wait, that would be trees....

You know, I was being flippant but then realised that it just may make sense. Could you take the CO2 from the power plant and pipe it underground for a network of nozzles directly underneath trees that were genetically modified to be efficient CO2 consumers. Maybe there are already some species that are better than others. Surely by increasing the local CO2 concentration near the trees they would absorb more than if the CO2 was spread over a wide area by a traditional chimney. You then have the advantage that you can cut the trees and burn them in your power plant almost in a closed cycle...
not rated yet Mar 22, 2012
Maybe the CO2 from the power plant would help grow a crop to feed a starving family or grow a forest somewhere like it has for millions of years (where do they think coal came from?) As for the half baked idea of storing CO2 underwater just shake a can of soda up then open it and then think about what a disaster an ocean full of CO2 saturated water would cause. Carbon storage is a bad idea for many reasons if you look at the big picture.
not rated yet Mar 22, 2012
"Please, please let me burn Coal"

"No Numbnut You should have been paying attention and invested in clean energy, not coal. Your money is forfeit."
You may not burn carbon under any circumstances under pain of death."
50 years from now.
1 / 5 (1) Mar 22, 2012
What is needed is some easy way to take the atmospheric CO2 and use some sort of catalyst to split it into O2 and C then you could collect up the C to sell as fuel and let the O2 escape into the atmosphere

You can't have it 'easy' both ways. The energy you put in to capture CO2 and convert it to fuel is AT LEAST as large as what you gained from burning the fossil fuels that put the CO2 in the atmosphere to begin with. (Otherwise you would have just constructed a perpetuum mobile). That enrgy has to come frmo somewhere (either you burn even more fossils - which would be stupid - or you use renewables, which is only marginally less stupid...because it would be much better to use that directly as you don't have to pay all the efficiency losses along the way)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.