June 30, 2005

‘Carbon free’ power station planned in Scotland

LONDON (Reuters) - Energy major BP and three partners areplanning to build a plant in Scotland which would be the firstin the world to generate "carbon free" electricity fromhydrogen, the companies said on Thursday.

The project would convert natural gas into hydrogen andcarbon dioxide (CO2), then use the hydrogen to fuel a powerstation and ship the CO2 to a North Sea oil field to increaseoil recovery and for storage ultimately.

The power industry is one of the top producers of CO2, thegreenhouse gas widely blamed for causing global warming.

"This is an important and unique project configured at ascale that can offer significant progress in the provision ofcleaner energy and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions,"said John Browne, BP's group chief executive in a statement.

The project would store about 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 ayear and provide "carbon free" power to a quarter of a millionUK homes.

This month the goverment announced a range of grants tohelp companies develop technology to capture carbon dioxide andstore it in depleted North Sea oil and gas reservoirs.

The group, which includes ConocoPhillips, Shell andScottish & Southern Energy, are carrying out detailedengineering work on the project and plan to decide next yearwhether to go ahead with the scheme which would come on streamin 2009.

The project, which includes a 350 megawatt power station,will cost about $600 million.