Sturgeon invests £18m to build waste-whisky-to-motor fuel plant at Grangemouth

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a £43 million public sector investment in 13 low-carbon energy projects.

Projects that will benefit include an innovative local energy system on Fair Isle, an energy storage project in Shetland, low-carbon heat networks in Dundee, Stirling, Clydebank and Glenrothes and the installation of a heat pump on the River Clyde to serve the Gorbals area in Glasgow.

This investment funding, awarded by the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, represents one of the largest direct Scottish energy investments in the last 10 years.

Other projects include £18 million for Celtic Renewables, which is resurrecting an industrial fermentation process – the Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol (ABE) fermentation – that was once one of the biggest biotechnology industries in the world (second only to the drinks industry).

 This investment includes construction at Grangemouth of the world’s very first demonstration facility for ABE production from industrial biological residues – aka motor fuel from waste whisky.

Dundee and Angus Residual Waste Combined Heat and Power Project (£3.7 million)

The aim of this project is to establish supply of medium pressure steam to the Michelin tyre factory in Dundee from a new Energy from Waste (EfW) plant to be built by MES.

The supply of steam will be delivered from an off-take on the steam turbine through a pipeline to be used directly in the Michelin steam network (principally for the vulcanisation of tyres). The impact of direct steam supply will be to reduce the consumption of natural gas in the Michelin boilers by 84% leading to an estimated reduction of 7,450 tons CO2e annually.

The Hunterston Energy Storage Project will receive £2.4 million to demonstrate that the use of lithium ion battery storage systems, for mitigating wind variability and accommodating this energy in the GB national grid, is commercially viable.

SSE will build a wind-integrated Li-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) at Hunterston National Offshore Wind Turbine Test Facility.

Sturgeon said: “These projects have great potential to help us tackle climate change, and remain at the forefront of low carbon and renewable innovation. They will also bring economic benefits – in terms of savings and jobs – to local areas across the country.

“Scotland has some of the most ambitious emissions reduction targets in the world. Over the past 10 years, our pattern of energy consumption has changed considerably, helping us to meet – and exceed – our 2020 target for reducing energy consumption, six years early.

“We are determined to build on this success, and we are now seeking views on a new target through our draft Energy Strategy – for 50% of our energy consumption – spanning heat, transport and electricity – to be met by renewables by 2030.”

Dave Pearson, Director of Glasgow-based Star Renewable Energy, added: “Star has been trying to replicate the success of its river heat pump in Norway for some time but has struggled to progress a similar example in Scotland.

“The support provided by the Scottish Government through the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme has recognised both the technical and commercial potential of our project in Glasgow’s Gorbals.

“The programme is providing excellent support in placing a high temperature river heat pump – the largest in the UK – at the Clyde to supply clean, low carbon heat to buildings in the Gorbals, helping us to collectively work to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in Scotland.”

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