NO Scottish Tory MP spoke with the UK Government about a Scottish carbon capture project before it missed out on major investment, it has been revealed.

A Scottish cluster of carbon capture and utilisation (CCUS) sites, based around the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire, lost out on a share of £1 billion of UK Government money earlier this year.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request - seen by The National - asks the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) what correspondences were made between Scotland's six Conservative MPs and BEIS Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng between July 14 and October 14.

BEIS had the overall decision on where the first round of funding would go due to the fund being its policy. Its decision was announced on October 19, 2021.

The response from CCUS directorate from within BEIS, stated: "After careful examination of your request, we have not identified any correspondences between the Secretary of State and the aforementioned MPs regarding investing in carbon capture and storage in Aberdeenshire between July 14th 2021 and October 14th 2021."

READ MORE: Ineos boss 'absolutely shocked' over UK snub to Scots carbon capture project

That means that despite claims from Andrew Bowie (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP) of being "disappointed" that the Scottish cluster did not get funding, neither he nor Douglas Ross, Alister Jack, David Duguid, John Lamont or David Mundell engaged in any talks with Kwarteng about the Scottish carbon capture project that could support more than 20,000 new jobs.

Bowie, Ross (Moray MP) and Duguid (Banff and Buchan MP) represent constituencies in the North East that would have likely benefitted from the Scottish project.

The Scottish cluster, known as the Acorn Project, was rejected in the first round for the UK Government's Carbon Capture and Storage Infrastructure Fund with a total of four projects sharing in £1bn of funding.

Projects south of the Border on the Humber and around Liverpool were selected in this round which will see CCUS facilities operational by 2025. The next funding round will see two more projects operational by 2030.

The Scottish cluster has the potential to store between 10 and 22 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2045 as well as the best infrastructure and workforce across the UK given that the North East is the base for most North Sea oil and gas work.

Gillian Martin, the SNP MP for Aberdeenshire East, called into question the commitment of Scottish Conservatives to businesses, describing them as "all talk and no action".

Martin said: "What is the point of the Scottish Tories? It is an insult to the people of Scotland that not one of their MPs or MSPs so much as wrote to their Westminster government to make the case for carbon capture to be awarded to the Acorn site.

READ MORE: Scots Tories told to stop 'sitting on their hands' over carbon capture snub

"Either they realise how useless they really are or they have such disdain for businesses that they can't be bothered to fight for multi-million-pound investment and many thousands of jobs in Scotland.

"For all their pretence to be a party of business, the Scottish Tories have completely failed a pivotal sector in the North East. As always, they are all talk and no action.

"Carbon capture will be an essential part of our Just Transition away from oil and gas and the Tories should step up and provide the millions of pounds of funding to take advantage of the skills and expertise that already exists in the North East.

"Once again this has shown that we cannot trust the Tories to stand up for the best interest of the people of Scotland. To do that we must have a choice of a better future as an independent country."

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: "Scottish Conservative MPs have engaged with ministers at all levels of government over Acorn, and will continue to do so as the only Scottish party working constructively to help get the St Fergus development online. 

"These include visits to the north east by Kwasi Kwarteng, Greg Hands and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, frequent contact with departments at Westminster, and questions to relevant departments which are a matter of public record."

READ MORE: Michael Fry: Why destroying the North Sea oil industry is neither brave nor bold

The Scottish Government is focusing its work in this area on creating a Just Transition away from fossil fuels and towards new green jobs in the renewable sector for people that work in the oil and gas sector.

Following the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, much of the world is also focused on moving energy generation away from oil and gas as well.

Scotland's Just Transition Minister Richard Lochhead recently announced that the Scottish Government’s Green Jobs Fund has created and safeguarded 750 green jobs through £10.7m of funding since its launch.

The Scottish Government has an ambitious target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2045 which will require many jobs in the oil and gas sector transitioning to renewable alternatives.

Aberdeen Donside MSP Jackie Dunbar said: “The UK Tory government’s decision not to back the Acorn Project is illogical, politically driven and must be reversed without delay or it will significantly compromise our ability to reduce emissions not just in Scotland but across the UK.

“Scotland continues to lead the way in the UK on our journey to net zero, but we do so with one hand tied behind our backs as the UK Tory government holds back innovative, green sectors in Scotland.

“That is why we cannot trust the Tories with Scotland’s future and why we must be able to choose a better future as an independent country.”