The Norwegian Government promised that a full-scale capture plant at Kårstø should be built and financed by the Norwegian state as soon as possible in 2005. It has since been postponed, and is now being reconsidered due to the plant's irregular operation pattern. The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) authorised state funding to Gassnova SF in March 2009 to cover the costs of establishing the CCS project for 10 years.
In 2006, the Norwegian Government began planning a full-scale CO2 capture facility at Naturkraft’s gas-fired power plant at Kårstø. The plans included a solution for transportation and secure storage of CO2. Since then, a significant amount of preparatory work has been done, on all aspects of construction of the full-scale CCS facility. Gassnova, set up by the government to manage CCS developments on its behalf, is leading construction and operation of planned facilities and infrastructure at Kårstø and Mongstad.
The plant would require a capture facility ten times the size of the largest existing plant for separation of CO2 from gas turbine exhaust. Annual operating costs - assuming 8000 hours of operation - are estimated to be NOK370 million (US$64 million), or NOK700 ($121) per tonne of CO2 abated. The captured CO2 may be used in enhanced oil recovery operations at Statoil's Volve field.
The backdrop of the CCS project at Kårstø is to reduce emissions from one of Norway’s largest sources of CO2. Naturkraft’s gas-fired power plant at Kårstø was commissioned in December 2007. It has an annual production capacity of up to 3.5 TWh, with CO2 emissions of approximately 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 per year at full production without carbon capture and storage.
Since it was commissioned, the gas-fired power plant has had an irregular operational pattern. The power plant has been out of operation for extensive periods, resulting in reduced CO2 emissions in comparison to a facility in continuous operation. Irregular operation of the power plant in the years to come will limit the environmental benefit of a CO2 capture facility.
The government has therefore decided to halt the procurement process for the assignment of contracts to construct the CCS facility at Kårstø until the gas-fired power plant’s operational pattern becomes clearer or other solutions that ensure regularity of production and emissions of CO2 from the power plant become evident. At the same time, the government will consider an integration of energy systems between the power plant and the gas processing facility at Kårstø, which may contribute to a reduction of total emissions. During the last two years the plant has been in continuous operation except for a few days of maintenance and there should therefore be no reasons for further postponing of this project.
In March 2010 Gassco and Gassnova presented an Kårstø Integration pre-feasibility study. Its objective was to describe potential integration opportunities at Kårstø, including technical, environmental, safety, commercial issues and arrangements.
In the National Budget for 2011, presented in October 2010, provided no grants to continue CCS developments Kårstø. The government stated then that they will consider the future of the project during their work on a new climate policy during that year.
Original timing: Powerplant opened Nov 2007, electricity production without carbon capture and storage (2007), investment decision (2008), and commissioning (2011-2012). Delayed 2009.
Other Sources and Press Release:
- ESA approved CCS project at Kårstø (March 2009)
- Naturkraft’s opens November 2007
- Naturkraft Karsto expected to come on stream end 2007 Electricity profile
- Power technology’s overview on 420 MW Karsto power plant
- Technical, economic and scheduling aspects of a CCS facility at Kårstø [PDF] (Dec 2006)
- Building new power plants in a CO2 constrained world: A Case Study from Norway on Gas-Fired Power Plants, Carbon Sequestration, and Politics [PDF] (May 2001)
- Gustav Amund Amundsen, (Gassnova, Vice President Projects)