SCOTLAND is set to play a key part in a pioneering drive to clean up the air around us under plans that are being developed by a carbon capture specialist with around £250,000 official backing.

Storrega Geotechnologies said it is considering North East Scotland to be the location of what it expects to be the first Direct Air Carbon (DAC) capture plant in the UK.

The plant could be used to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for storage under the North Sea in a move the company said could help the UK and Scotland achieve the net zero targets they have set. Storrega reckons DAC plants could sustain thousands of jobs in future.

They work by filtering huge quantities of air taken directly from the atmosphere. Champions say they could tackle emissions that would not be captured using techniques that involve connecting storage facilities to factories and the like via pipelines.

“This form of greenhouse gas removal has the ability to play a key role in the rapid decarbonisation of high-emitting, difficult-to-decarbonise industrial sectors, such as aviation, shipping, agriculture, and oil and gas,” said Storrega of Direct Air Capture.

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The company added: “It also provides a reliable way to remove CO2 emissions from the past, making it a tool to support not only net zero targets, but also ambitions to achieve net negative emissions and full climate restoration.”

Storrega has been awarded a £249,000 grant by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (“BEIS”) for a DAC development project.

The company said the funding will allow it to advance the development of the UK, and Europe’s first large scale DAC facility.

Storrega is working with Carbon Engineering, which has developed large scale DAC facilities in North America.

The partners in the project include the University of Edinburgh.

Storrega’s Pale Blue Dot Energy business is leading work on the Acorn CCS project in Scotland. This is expected to involve utilising existing pipeline systems to transport emissions captured from across Scotland for storage in depleted North Sea reservoirs.

Storrega noted that a DAC plant based in North East Scotland would have access to the facilities developed for Acorn. Other potential locations are also being considered.

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The company has won backing from Australian investment bank Macquarie, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Japanese industrial giant Mitsui.

The UK Government announced yesterday that it would provide £20 million to support the development of the next generation carbon capture, usage and storage technologies so they can be deployed at scale by 2030.