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World’s largest carbon capture facility opens in Norway

GBP 647m TCM opens doors and invites global CCS industry to use test facilities

The Technology Centre Mongstad has been six years in the making
The Technology Centre Mongstad has been six years in the making

The world’s largest carbon capture facility has opened in Norway. The Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM), which has been six years in the making, will provide a major opportunity for companies to test and develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.  

The carbon capture test facility is the largest of its kind in the world. It is a joint venture set up by the Norwegian state, Statoil, Shell and Sasol, at a cost of over GBP 647m to address the global threat of climate change. 

The centre is inviting the global CCS community to make use the testing facilities.  Knowledge gained will prepare the ground for CO2 capture initiatives to combat climate change.

The size of the centre equates to 9 to 10 football pitches.  The center comprises two CO2 capture plants each with a capacity to capture approximately 80,000 tons of CO2 from the nearby refinery or 20,000 tons from a gas fired power plant. 450km of cables and kilometres of pipes up to 1.2m in diameter have been used.  In addition the centre has available space and infrastructure to sustain more technologies to be tested in the future. 

The centre will also provide a major opportunity for UK Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) technologists working to deliver on Government’s ambition for a CCS industry worth GBP 6.5bn by the 2020s.

The UK Government has recognised CCS as a critical technology for the decarbonisation of its energy supply.  It has set out a CCS Roadmap to deliver against the industry’s ambition for the deployment of a 20 to 30 GW CCS industry; creating more than 100,000 jobs, by 2030. International engagement is a key dynamic of the Roadmap, particularly learning from other projects around the world to accelerate cost reduction. 

After six years of development, the owners formally invite UK organisations competing in the Government’s £1bn CCS competition to use the facilities to test and demonstrate their CCS technologies. 

TCM’s invitation to the UK has been extended to increase knowledge on carbon capture technologies, in order to reduce technical and financial risk, and accelerate the development of qualified technologies capable of wide scale international deployment.  Up to eighty per cent of the costs of CCS are related to CO2 capture, so TCM is encouraging the use of their facilities to refine the capture process and bring costs down.

Tore Amundsen, TCM managing director, said: “Through testing, verification and demonstration of technologies, TCM can help them (technologies) to reduce both operating and capital expenditures, and improve performance and reliability.”

Dr Jeff Chapman, chief executive, the Carbon Capture & Storage Association and chair of the UK CCS Taskforce, said: “This is a major contribution from Norway to the worldwide development of CCS.  The offer to UK CCS project developers is an exceptional opportunity to optimise plant operation prior to construction and to share knowledge and learning vital to the next wave of CCS projects.  I am sure that companies building new plant in the UK will want to avail themselves of this facility.”