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The signals from Norway cause reactions

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The Norwegian newspaper VG brought attention to some of the international reactions on the delay of Mongstad this weekend. The industry, scientists and political authorities word themselves carefully. But it is clear that the decision to postpone the fullscale project by four years untill 2018, and not the least the reasons given for this, is a dissapointment and is seen as a setback for the international development of CCS.

Faximile VG sak 230510At the Ninth Annual CCS Conference in Pittburgh, USA,  about 1000 participants gathered with the object of getting a faster development of the whole CCS value chain..

The news from Norway, which has been seen as the one of the leading countries and potentially first movers on the arena of full scale deployment of carbon capture and storage, takes many of the international stakeholders by surprise. And alll seem to agree that the delay published by the Norwegian Government on May 1, is worrying. And most stakeholders find it hard to understand the reasons given for the delay. When the Norwegian Government, Gassnova and Statoil claim that the technology is not ready yet, it creates waves globally. The industry needs predictabilty and a clear political, economical and legislative framework to be able to invest the needed resources in CCS.

Philippe Paelinck who is head of the departement in Alstom France that develops equipment for CO2 capture, says in a comment:

-The building of Mongstad is an important part in the development of the CCS technology. If the first generation of CO2 capture and storage technology is postponed, there is a possibility that my board will will say "no" to invest in developing  the second generation. "Where is the market for these projects?", they will ask. We are closer now to this kind of conversations with our board.

Sir Nicholas Stern, who was attending the Global CCS Institute membership meeting in Pittsburgh the same week, agrees:

-The experiences done by a country in this field, has impact on what others can do. We do know a lot on how to capture CO2, the challenge is to do it on a large scale. And we have to do that the next ten-twenty years. The power of the example is great, and that's why this is so important.

On the question of whether four more years would make a difference The Norwegian departement of Mitsubishi adds:

- We are always working on making the technology more efficient, but no fundamentally new technology or way of capturing CO2 will arrive any time soon, says Helge Dramdal.

The Norwegian company Aker Clean Carbon and Liv Monica Bargem Stubholt,  expands on this:

There are no technological barriers keeping us from following original schedule. The technology is ready for full scale projects, even though it is true that there has not yet been a project to capture as much as a million tonn CO2 a year. We respect the fact that this has not tried before, on this scale. But we have said that we are ready to do this.

Dr. Jonathan Gibbins (Imperial College UK ) is worried that the negative signals from Norway can have a detrimental effect.

-If Norway does not think this is urgent, why should any other countries care? The Norwegian decision will create ripple effects globally. If they postpone the project now, others will do the same.

AEP Mountaineer CCS demoThe article compares two projects, the AEP Mountaineer in New Haven and Mongstad in Norway.  The american project at AEP Mountaineer started construction of the test plant in September 2009 and are now testing capture, transport and storage of 100 000 tons of CO2. The test center at Mongstad, which also will capture 100 000 tons CO2 but not store it, began construction this year and will be finished in 2012. The full scale project at AEP Mountaineer is planned for completion by 2015 (and has received 334 mill US dollar in DOE funding with the 2015 deadline as one of the conditions). The full scale project at the gas power plant at Mongstad will be completed in 2018 at the earliest. The full scale plant at AEP Mountaineer costs 4,3 billion NOK,  Mongstad will cost approximately 25 billion NOK (the study alone costs 4,1 billion NOK) and the Norwegian Goverment grants for 80 % of that.

But AEP Mountaineer is not the only CCS full scale project that will be up and running before Norway.
Other projects that will most likely be finished before Mongstad are:

Quest CCS Project (Canada, Shell)
Project Pioneer (Canada, Transalta)
Swan Hills (Canada, Synfuels)
Enhance Energy (Canada)
Boundary Dam ICCCS Demo Project (Canada, Sask Power)
Jänschwalde (Germany, Vattenfall)
Porto-Tolle (Italy, Enel)
Maasvlakte (The Netherlands, e.on)
Belchatow (Poland, Alstom, Elektrownia Belchatow and PGE)
Compostilla (Spain, Endesa)
Hatfield (UK)
Longannet (UK, Aker Clean Carbon, Shell UK, marathon)
E.ON Kingsnorth (UK, e.on)
AEP Mountaineer (USA, AEP and Alstom)
Summit Texas Claen Energy (USA, LLC and Siemens)

See more details in the list below, and/or search for the project here at our website.
Full scale CCS projects to be finished before Mongstad



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