Climate change

Investing in a pioneering carbon capture business

Investment by Macquarie’s Commodities and Global Markets group in Storegga Limited (Storegga) has helped create a UK-based independent, international developer of carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and direct air capture projects.

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Sub Renewable
Asset type Greenfield
Acquired 2021

Opportunity

The UK has set a target of net zero emissions by 2050. Achieving this, as independent bodies such as the Climate Change Committee have emphasised, requires action to decarbonise so-called ‘hard to abate’ industries such as aviation, steel and cement, chemicals and refineries.

Alongside hydrogen and other low-carbon technologies, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is increasingly being seen as an important means of reducing industrial carbon emissions. CCS works by capturing the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced from industrial activities and power generation processes, transporting the gas and then storing it underground.

With Macquarie’s support, Storegga has grown from a developer of a single decarbonisation project to an international developer of multiple decarbonisation technologies in just two years.  It is best known as the lead developer of the Acorn Hydrogen and Acorn CCS projects, which are some of the UK’s most advanced carbon capture and storage initiatives. The projects will repurpose existing oil and gas infrastructure, including a depleted offshore gas reservoir, to store CO2 in north east Scotland. It is currently in the engineering and design phase of development and is planned to be operational by the mid-2020s. It aims to store 20 million tonnes per year (Mtpa) of CO2 in its first decade of operation.

Storegga is developing both green and blue hydrogen projects in the UK and Europe’s first utility scale (up to 1Mtpa) DAC plant located in northeast Scotland.

Storegga also announced the launch of Scotland’s first major green hydrogen project in Cromarty, with partner Scottish Power, earlier in 2022.  The project will supply local distilleries – Diageo, Glenmorangie and Whyte & Mackay with clean energy.


Approach

The Macquarie team work closely with the senior leadership team of Storegga, using our deep sector expertise to support the development of an independent energy champion.

Alongside this sector expertise, our early investment supported Storegga’s commercialisation of the Acorn CCS and Acorn Hydrogen projects, which together form an important catalyst for clean growth in the UK and beyond.

Outcome

Our investment in Storegga aligns with Macquarie’s vision to help establish the UK as a leader in the field of carbon capture, drive climate action and strengthen the Commodities and Global Markets group’s carbon trading capabilities.

Following our initial cornerstone equity investment in July 2020, additional international investors have been introduced and Macquarie has supported two further funding rounds. The additional rounds have been used to progress Storegga’s development of the Acorn projects in the UK and to support international growth opportunities as the company builds a global portfolio of low carbon projects.

Storegga’s Acorn projects are well placed to be one of the UK’s largest carbon sequestration projects. As an organisation that has been active in the country’s energy market for many years, supporting businesses like Storegga is a key part of Macquarie’s own energy transition journey.”

Erik Petersson
Senior Managing Director, Commodities and Global Markets