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Offshore decarbonisation plan to cut emissions and safeguard jobs

Posted on 22 Jun 2021 and read 556 times
Offshore decarbonisation plan to cut emissions and safeguard jobsGreen infrastructure developer Cerulean Winds has revealed an ambitious plan to accelerate the ‘decarbonisation of oil and gas assets’ through an integrated 200-turbine floating wind and hydrogen development that would ‘shift the dial’ on emissions targets and create significant numbers of jobs.

The proposed £10 billion green infrastructure plan would have the capacity to ‘abate 20 million tonnes of CO2’ through simultaneous North Sea projects at West of Shetland and in the Central North Sea. A formal request for seabed leases has been submitted to Marine Scotland.

Cerulean Winds is led by Dan Jackson and Mark Dixon (pictured), who have more than 25 years’ experience working together on large-scale offshore infrastructure developments in the oil and gas industry.

They believe the risk of not moving quickly on ‘basin-wide decarbonisation’ would wholly undermine the objectives set out in the North Sea Transition Deal, outlined by the Government in March this year.

Energy transition

Mr Jackson, Cerulean Winds’ founding director, said: “The UK is progressing the energy transition, but a sense of urgency and joined-up approach is required to enable rapid decarbonisation of oil and gas assets or there is a risk of early decommissioning and significant job losses.

“Emissions are quite rightly no longer acceptable, but with emissions penalties and taxes coming, the UK oil and gas industry’s role in homegrown energy security during the transition could be threatened unless current decarbonisation efforts can be greatly speeded up. The consequences of not moving quickly enough will be catastrophic for the economy and the environment.”

Cerulean has Tier One contractors in place to deliver the UKCS (continental shelf) ‘backbone development’ and has engaged the financial markets for a ‘fully funded infrastructure construct’.

The proposed development involves: over 200 of the largest floating turbines at sites West of Shetland and in the Central North Sea, with 3GW per hour of capacity feeding power to the offshore facilities and some 1.5GW per hour power to onshore green hydrogen plants; the ability to electrify the majority of current UKCS assets as well as future production potential from 2024, to reduce emissions well ahead of abatement targets; 100% availability of green power to offshore platforms at a price below current gas turbine generation through a self-sustained scheme with no upfront cost to operators; the development of green hydrogen at scale and £1 billion hydrogen export potential; and no subsidies or CFD (contract for difference) requirements and hundreds of millions of pounds to Government revenue via leases and taxation through to 2030.

Société Générale, one of the leading European financial services groups is advising Cerulean Winds. Allan Baker, global head of power advisory and project finance, said: “The Cerulean UKCS decarbonisation project has the potential to meet all of the basin’s transition needs by reducing oil and gas emissions as quickly as possible, while also introducing large-scale green energy. We are pleased to be supporting the leadership on what is a transformational proposition for the UK.”

Cerulean Winds estimates that the current 160,000 oil and gas jobs can be safeguarded and that 200,000 new roles within the floating wind and hydrogen sectors will be created within the next five years.