Report says Scottish Power due to pull out of flagship Longannet scheme

The government’s plan for a £1bn Carbon Capture and Storage power station built by Scottish Power is on the brink of collapse, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper.

The paper said the power company was set to pull the plug on the scheme, seen as a key pilot for low carbon energy, within weeks. It says more money is needed by Scottish Power and financial backers Shell and National Grid than the £1bn subsidy already promised by the government.

The Carbon Capture pilot, launched under the last Labour government, was a surprise survivor of last year’s comprehensive spending review by chancellor George Osborne. The Guardian quoted an un-named Tory backbencher saying the failure to seal a deal was the fault of Labour, which had dithered too long in awarding the demonstration contract, meaning there was only one bidder left to negotiate with.

The CCS plant was due to be built in Longannet, Fife.

Both the Department for Energy and Climate Change and Scottish Power said talks over the scheme were “ongoing.”

The news comes amid growing unease over the government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, following Osborne’s announcement at the Conservative Party conference this week that the UK will not reduce carbon emissions any faster than EU neighbours. The UK Green Building council branded that move as “incredibly misguided.”