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Scheme promises technology benefits

Scotland invests in Chinese green power project

Fergus EwingScotland’s green energy technologists hope to benefit from an investment by the government in a huge environmental project in China.

The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, are contributing £50,000 each towards the carbon capture project which is expected to create opportunities for Scotland’s research institutions and businesses.

The funding will help set up a CO2 capture test site at the Haifang coal-fuelled power plant to support the UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre, as well as a study for the building of an 8GW coal-fired power station in the province of Guangdong.

Business, energy and tourism minister Fergus Ewing (pictured), said: “China is one of the world’s largest energy producing and consuming countries. As a proportion of the world’s atmospheric emissions, it releases over a quarter of the total emissions of carbon dioxide – and this trend is rising. As a result, China is facing increased pressure to reduce its CO2 emissions.

“Scotland’s energy industry is a recognised leader and is proven to work in partnerships around the world. Forty years of oil and gas production has created a strong supply chain, a skilled workforce, a renowned academic sector and well-developed energy infrastructure. These skills can be readily transferred to the CCS industry.

“Scotland is at the forefront of CCS and CO2 enhanced oil recovery research, and we are looking to strengthen Scotland’s co-operation with China.”

Scottish Enterprise’s international sector head for oil and gas, David Rennie, added: “Providing early support to China on its CCS journey will help put Scotland firmly in the limelight for future opportunities. It will provide us with new connections in the Chinese energy industry, enabling us to demonstrate our world-renowned industry and academic expertise in the oil and gas sector.”

Guangdong is an engineering and manufacturing powerhouse for China, but relies largely on coal-fuelled electricity. The proximity of offshore oil and gas fields is expected to provide abundant opportunities for the storage of CO2 – as the North Sea does for Scotland. This offers opportunities for the service sector and oil and gas operators – especially those which have already gained expertise in the UK’s CCS Commercialisation competition or are engaged in current commercialisation projects.

A steering group involving Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and academics from the Scottish Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS), will ensure Scotland’s financial contribution is spent in areas which will highlight the Scottish supply chain’s expertise, whilst working in collaboration with the UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre.

China has already undertaken some 20 demonstrations and pilot projects of CCS technology, and is expected to include a strong commitment to practical CCS construction in its next five year plan.

Secretary General of UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre, Xi Liang, said: “The collaboration between Scotland and UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre would be a great opportunity for cost reduction in CO2 storage and for establishing a global CCUS supply chain. I appreciate the early support of two Scottish institutes to the Guangdong CCUS initiative in July 2013, SCCS based at University of Edinburgh and Howden Group based in Glasgow.

“We are very grateful to the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise for their financial contribution. The new funding is an exciting opportunity and will help to forge a concrete foundation for the CCUS demonstration programme in Guangdong. ”

China offers many opportunities to grow Scotland’s oil and gas sector and last week 12 companies participated in the Scottish pavilion at China (Beijing) International Offshore Oil & Gas Technology Conference (CIOTC).

Supported by Scottish Enterprise through its international arm, Scottish Development International (SDI), the mission aimed to enhance the companies’ abilities to partner with organisations in China, not only by meeting other companies during the conference but also through engagement with members of the international GlobalScot network which offer unique insights into the operating environment of markets around the world.

China has been increasing its oil and gas investment in Scotland during the past few years – CNOOC’s acquisition of Nexen, Sinopec’s 49 per cent share in Talisman Energy (UK)’s North Sea business and PetroChina’s 50 per cent ownership of the Grangemouth oil refinery – a real indication of the huge potential in oil and gas co-operation between China and Scotland.

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