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It’s good to talk: Norway’s TCM launches international CCS network

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Norway’s world-class research and development base, Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM), is encouraging other carbon capture test facilities to join its international initiative that aims to enhance knowledge exchange and fast-track the commercial utilisation of CCS technology.

TCM and seven other founding members have launched the CCS Test Centre Network to improve the flow of knowledge and experience between test centres worldwide and promote the standardisation of the technology – thereby creating a “level playing field” that could reduce costs as well as the technical and environmental risks associated with developing CCS at large CO2 emission sources.

Tore Amundsen, CEO of Gassnova and chairman of CO2 Technology Centre Mongstad, said: “This is absolutely the right time to launch this knowledge-sharing network. Every day, in test centres around the world, we see advancements in CCS technology with new experiences, lessons and solutions being developed. However, this knowledge is often not shared because there has been no appropriate forum for doing so. This network will change that for the benefit of everyone.”

Alongside TCM, the founding members include the US’ National Carbon Capture Center, Southern Company’s 25MW CCS demonstration facility in Alabama, Canada’s SaskPower, J-Power in Japan, Italy’s ENEL Engineering and Research, E.ON in Germany and Doosan Power Systems based in the UK. 

The CCS Test Centre Network joins the ranks of other knowledge-sharing forums which have been set up to further the cause and deployment of safe, effective and economically viable CCS – including the European CCS Demonstration Project Network, the UKCCSRC Community Network and the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme, which runs a number of very specific knowledge-exchange networks.

However, this international gathering represents something of a powerhouse of knowledge and experience. SaskPower is behind the Boundary Dam CCS Project, which could be the world’s first large-scale CCS project at a coal-fired power plant. While Southern Company has been operating the full CCS chain at its Plant Barry CCS demonstration plant in Alabama since 2011 and is the parent company behind the Kemper County IGCC project – which is racing Boundary Dam to the finish line. It also manages the National Carbon Capture Center for the US Department of Energy.

Meanwhile, ENEL switched on Italy's first carbon capture pilot at its coal-fired power plant at Brindisi in early 2011, and has successfully completed its first test of amine capture technology. And both E.ON and Doosan Babcock have been involved in key CCS pilots in Germany and the UK, respectively.

TCM has said the main aims of its knowledge-sharing initiative are to build on good practice from around the world and use this success to address the concerns of regulators, gain public trust for CCS and inspire the wider CCS community. 


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