ForTheDoers Blog

Positive test results from the carbon capture and storage pilot in Oslo

Truls Jemtland  ·  13 December 2019

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the most important technologies for combating climate change and one of the ways to reach the Paris Agreement’s objective of net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the second half of this century.

That said, 2019 was an active year for the CCS project at Fortum Oslo Varme’s waste-to-energy plant in Oslo, Norway. The project has established a carbon capture pilot unit and has been conducting a number of tests and delivering reports that are essential to the future decision of support for building a full-scale carbon capture facility at the plant on the outskirts of the capital.

The pilot has confirmed that the chosen capture technology works as intended. During the 5,500-hour test that we conducted, the test facility has proven that the technology can provide the intended capture rate of 90 per cent. But, we have seen numbers as high as 99 per cent and a stable 95 per cent capture rate of the CO2 from the flue gas. We have also proven that the technology is safe and keeps the emissions to an absolute minimum. In the test results, low solvent degradation and emissions were well below target.

At the end of October, the project submitted the FEED report (Front End Engineering and Design studies), and we are ready to move forward towards establishing a full-scale carbon capture facility. The FEED report is the basis of Gassnova’s and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy’s assessment and analysis of the project’s results so far. The Ministry is planning to present its recommendation to the Norwegian parliament in 2020, so that the government can decide on possible further investments in one, or hopefully two, of the carbon capture projects in the Norwegian CCS project, in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The pilot project gains wide interest

Our CCS project shows how cities can cut emissions, utilise local resources and mitigate climate change from waste as part of sustainable city solutions. The project has already gained wide interest from all over the world. There have been delegations from governments, cities and related industries showing sincere interest in our pilot and initiative. 

In September, there was a European High-level CCS conference in Oslo. During a site visit to the Fortum pilot plant the former EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, was rather excited and was quoted in the national newspaper Aftenposten: “It’s amazing to see that it works. They capture more than 90 per cent of emissions. Both in Norway and Europe, large full-scale facilities must be built in order for us to at least have a chance to reach the Paris Agreement’s goal of stopping the heating below 2 degrees.”

In October, Fortum Oslo Varme signed a letter of intent (LOI) with The Port of Oslo for the temporary storage of liquid CO2. The plan is to transport CO2 with emission-free trucks the 6 kilometers from the capture plant to the port where it will be temporary stored before the Northern lights project transports it by tanker ship to the permanent storage under the seabed in the North Sea.

Also, last autumn a number of countries agreed to allow the export of CO2 for storage purposes under the so-called London Protocol. The decision is an international breakthrough for the capture, transport and storage of CO2 across national borders and could also lead to faster development of carbon capture and storage as climate technology.

Stockholm Exergi has recently launched its bio-CCS (BECCS) pilot project in Sweden. Our companies are dedicated to supplying the respective Nordic cities with renewable energy. The next step in reducing the carbon footprint is to remove carbon emissions – or to even become carbon negative.

Factbox: Key findings from the Oslo project

  • The pilot plant started capturing CO2 on 26 February 2019
  • 24-hour performance test was completed 1 March 2019
  • Operational stability: 2000-hour test completed 31 May 2019
  • Test programme with main focus on emissions and degradation
  • Technology Qualification certificate received in July 2019
  • Amine emissions well below target
  • CO2 capture efficiency of above 90% can be maintained
  • Low solvent degradation, indicating suitability of Klemetsrud WtE-plant flue gas for carbon capture
  • Technology supplier is Shell Cansolv and EPC contractor is TechnipFMC.

(In picture: Eirik F Tandberg, Managing Director, Fortum Oslo Varme and Minister of Oil and Energy Kjell-Børge Freiberg)

Truls Jemtland

Truls E. A Jemtland
Communications Manager
Fortum Oslo Varme
Tel: +47 920 29 480
truls.jemtland@fortum.com