THE Norwegian government is to invest NOK1.314bn (US$162m) in CCS projects in the country and hopes to eventually have a full-scale demonstration project.
The biggest portion of this, NOK642m, will go to Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM), the world’s largest carbon capture materials testing facility, which is co-owned by Gassnova, Statoil, Sasol and Shell, but which receives funding from the Norwegian government. The current funding and operations arrangement expires in August 2017, but the parties have agreed terms to continue negotiations and aim to reach agreement by the end of this year.
The government will also provide NOK360m to fund further studies for full-scale demonstration CCS plants. The studies will look at optimising technical solutions and minimising the costs. Concept studies will continue until Q3 next year. A front end engineering and design (FEED) phase will be considered in 2018, and it’s hoped that a final investment decision will be taken in 2019.
Up to three industrial CCS projects will be included, one proposed by fertiliser producer Yara, one by cement producer Norcem and one by waste management and energy recovery company Klemetsrud. Their processes unavoidably produce CO2, and capturing it is the industry’s only way to decarbonise. UK industry body the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) says that if the projects are all realised, Norway’s CO2 emissions would be reduced by 5% and would significantly help Norway to reach its COP21 climate commitments.
“CCS is one of the government's five prioritised areas for enhanced national climate action. In order to reach the government's ambition to realise a full-scale demonstration project for the capture, transport and storage of CO2, we have to work systematically to establish a thorough decision basis. The concept studies we initiate now is a necessary step on the path to realising full-scale CCS in Norway,” says Tord Lien, Norway’s minister of petroleum and energy.
In addition, the Norwegian government will give NOK200m to CLIMIT, Norway’s national research programme into the development, piloting and demonstration of CCS, which is jointly managed by Gassnova and the Research Council of Norway. CLIMIT provides grants to Norwegian companies, research institutions, universities and colleges. Finally, the government will grant NOK107m in administration grants to Gassnova for its management of state interests in CO2 management.
Luke Warren, chief executive of CCSA, welcomed the investment, saying that it was “hugely encouraging” and could once again put Europe amongst the leaders in CCS technology. He urged other countries to follow Norway’s example and apply CCS to industry, rather than focussing on power generation.
“The fact that Norway has chosen to develop CCS on three very different industrial sites demonstrates the massive importance of CCS to sectors such as steel, cement, chemicals and refining. Industrial CCS projects such as these are important not only in terms of their contribution to emissions reductions, but also to ensuring a long-term sustainable future for these vital industries,” he said.
Catch up on the latest news, views and jobs from The Chemical Engineer. Below are the four latest issues. View a wider selection of the archive from within the Magazine section of this site.