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Environment / Gas plant tops local CO2 emissions list but numbers down on previous year

Shetland Gas Plant. Photo: Shetland News

SOME of Shetland’s industrial facilities remain high on the list of Scotland’s top air polluters, with the gas plant continuing to emit the most carbon dioxide (CO2) locally.

However, the majority of Shetland’s sites saw a reduction in the amount of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide released in 2018 compared to the year before.

Shetland Gas Plant, operated by Total, finds itself at 14th on the list of CO2 producers in Scotland in 2018.

It released around 212,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide during the year, according to new figures by environment agency SEPA – a decrease from over 239,000 tonnes in 2017.

A spokesperson for Total previously said that the gas plant – located near to Sullom Voe Terminal – is a “modern facility that minimises its environmental footprint” and “treads very lightly considering the size of contribution it makes to the UK’s gas requirements”.

Not far behind on the list, meanwhile, is the power station at Sullom Voe Terminal with 206,000 tonnes.

The Lerwick power station emitted 76,000 tonnes in 2018 and Sullom Voe Terminal produced around 54,000 tonnes – a sizeable reduction on 2017’s 77,320 tonnes.

The Energy Recovery Plant in Lerwick, meanwhile, emitted 19,413 tonnes.

Scotland’s top producer of CO2 was SSE’s gas power station in Peterhead, which released 1.9 million tonnes.

There was a general downward trend in CO2 emissions in Shetland.

All of the above facilities saw their emissions decrease from 2017 to 2018 apart from the Energy Recovery Plant.

Reducing carbon emissions forms a key part of a new programme recently introduced by Shetland Islands Council on tackling climate change.

One strand of this is the Shetland Energy Hub project, which aims to prolong activity in the local oil and gas sector while at the same time integrating the move towards low carbon solutions and renewable energy.