From the press release: "The partners will proceed with design work with the aim of confirming the economic feasibility of the scheme. This work would be expected to be complete in the second half of 2006. This will allow a final investment decision to be taken next year, subject to which the project would then be expected to commence operation in 2009.
The full project would require total capital investment of some $600million. It would also require an appropriate policy and regulatory framework which encourages the capture of carbon from fossil fuel-based electricity generation and its long-term storage".
Interesting insights emerge from this story. The first is that the sorry state of North Sea oil fields, as exemplified by the graphic, makes it clear why UK energy companies are so hip to alternative technologies. Corrolary: nothing drives technology shifting like self interest. This post is not intended to deride natural gas reformation and H2 use as proposed: the Peterhead Plant is already natural gas fired, and introduction of this reformer technology diverts C02 emissions from the stacks and shoves it down a hole in the ocean floor. That's a win win plan as it is; but it also proves the worth of innovation around hydrogen in the broadest sense.