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Brief description:

In Finland, CCS has been part of the discussions regarding mitigation of climate change since the nineties, but has been deemed a too expensive measure to use in order to reduce CO2 emissions. There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, the unfavourable geology for geological storage of CO2 in Finland, would make storage difficult and almost prohibitly expensive. Investigations carried out by the VTT Technical Research centre of Finland, show that there are no hydrocarbon reservoirs in Finland and that sedimentary rocks are very compact. This means that any captured CO2 would have to be transported abroad for storage, making the process of CCS more expensive. The closest potential formations for storage of carbon dioxide have been found in the North Sea and the Barents Sea, and ongoing researche indicate existence of a potential storrage site in the baltic sea. VTT did find that the Finnish bedrock may be suitable for intermediate storage of CO2, but this would entail relatively small short-term storage for example when it comes to ship loading and unloading of CO2. The Finnish bedrock does have a high availability of rocks suitable for mineral carbonation with CO2. Unfortunately storage of CO2 using mineral carbonation is not technologically feasible at the moment, but is being studied.

In addition the domestic cost, CO2 is very sensitive to many parameters such as plant use, fuel costs, electricity prices, replacement power production types etc. Therefore the choice and application of CCS technology within Finland is very case specific. Before CCS can become a viable technology for Finland, issues related to storage also need to be clarified, including liability issues. In addition there is a lack of public acceptance for the technology and there seems to be political disengagement regarding CCS. Indeed without substantial government support for CCS projects or markedly higher prices for emission rights than is currently the case, the commercial realisation of CCS in Finland will continue to be on very shaky ground. There have so far been no promises in Finland of domestic funding for these efforts.

So far there has only been one attempt to build a power plant in Finland with CCS technology. This was done by Fortum and TVO which aimed to retro-fit Meri-Pori 565 MW power plant with carbon capture and storage equipment by 2015. The aim was to have the Meri-Pori CCS project, accepted as an official EU CCS demonstration program, but the project was discontinued in October 2010 based on what Fortum claimed was an “updated strategy.” Fortum admitted in a press release relating to the demise of the project, that the technological and financial risks contributed to the decision to cancel the CCS power plant. In addition to the projected EU funding it had also become clear that the project would have required additional national funding and significant investments from the companies participating in it. Such additional funding does not seem to be available at the moment.

However, despite its decision to discontinue the Meri-Pori CCS project, Fortum says it still continues to participate actively in CCS technology development.  There are currently no other CCS projects in Finland, but research and development on CCS technologies is carried out by several companies, research facilities and universities in Finland.

VTT have adressed the possibility to apply CCS in Finnish conditions. The first commercial CCS applications in Finland would probably arise in fuel refineries, since this industry already has existing experience with separation of  CO2 for commercial use. Upcoming biomass-to-liquid production plants are very potential first CCS applications in Finland, since relatively pure CO2 is a byproduct from these refineries, making CCS considerably cheaper to apply. In the near future more power plants are expected to be built in Finland, which opens up the possibility for CCS or at least CCS-readiness for the plants. In particular, large new combined heat and power (CHP) plants, which can burn coal, biomass or peat, appear to be promising candidates for CCS.

The largest CO2 emitting plants in Finland are power plants, steel plants and oil refineries. Finland has also significant, large point sources of biogenic CO2. This originates mostly from large pulp and paper mills but also from co-firing of biomass in power plants. This makes bio-CCS a particularly interesting option for Finland. Currently, however, there are no incentives for capturing biogenic emissions, since the EU emission trading scheme does not apply to biogenic CO2

Source: IEAGHG

VTT Technical Research centre of Finland,

Government Foresight Report on Long-term Climate and Energy Policy: Towards a Low-carbon Finland

Projects in Finland: