Does Norway’s Dropped CCS Project Spell Doom for Carbon Capture?
David Sims posted on October 18, 2013 |

carbon capture, energy, thomasnet, norway, gas, oil, petroleumNorway once trumpeted its ambitious project to capture carbon dioxide at a large utility plant as a technological achievement on par with a lunar landing, but environmental activists there now dub it a “crash landing.’

“One of the ugliest political crash landings we have ever seen,” Frederic Hauge of the Norwegian environmental group Bellona said about the demise of the project at Mongstad and the nation’s attempt to lead the world in carbon capture.

The Wall Street Journal reported in late September that the Norwegian government was shutting down the Statoil ASA-operated project because it “has been both challenging and costly, and the risks are now seen as too big.”

The proposed facility was supposed to capture carbon emissions from a natural gas plant at the Mongstad site, which also houses an oil refinery, and pipe them into underground storage on the Norwegian continental shelf.

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There’s still a research center at Mongstad “testing various carbon capture schemes.”  The center is allocated about $67.4 million over four years, a far cry from the $300 billion-plus that Norway’s auditor general disclosed would be spent on carbon capture and storage projects from 2007 to 2012.

Shuttering the Mongstad project certainly dampens expectations that Norway will fulfill its promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, according to the Reuters news service, which noted that “emissions were five percent above 1990 levels in 2012, and delays to carbon capture will make the 2020 goal ever more difficult.”

The strategy of carbon capture and storage (CCS) entails removing CO2 from coal plant emissions before it goes up the stack and into the air, putting it under high pressure, and then injecting it into the ground where it cannot contribute to global warming.

Norway’s CCS facility would have been the first high-profile project in operation, proving that it could work on an industrial scale. That makes the Mongstad failure even more of a psychological blow to carbon capture devotees.

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This article was originally published on ThomasNet News Industry Market Trends  and is reprinted in its entirety with permission from Thomas Industrial Network.  For more stories like this please visit Industry Market Trends.

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