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Scottish ministers call for Longannet rumour resolution

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has pressed energy secretary Chris Huhne for a “speedy resolution” to reports that the UK’s first commercial scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project could collapse.

Salmond raised his concerns with Huhne last week over rumours that energy firm ScottishPower could pull out of the Longannet project, Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing said today. Ewing said he too was “alarmed” by last week’s reports that the project is at risk.

Scotland needs to get a head start on global competitors to become “Europe’s carbon storage hub”, he said. “The Treasury and Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) appear to disagree over the necessary funding [for Longannet],” said Ewing, “despite the whole project [being] set to cost less than one tenth of this year’s estimated North Sea oil and gas revenues.

“Following the failure of the UK Government to support the Peterhead CCS project four years ago, UK ministers cannot stand by and allow this second project to fall,” he said. “No final decisions have been taken and I urge the UK Government to do all it can to save this project.” Decc and ScottishPower last week denied that the scheme was stopping and insisted negotiations were ongoing.

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