Combat climate change through technology

Blog post from Abu Dhabi: Faith in CCS remains strong

During World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi last week, industry leaders called for more global cooperation to reduce the cost of carbon capture and storage. TCM is a good example of such international cooperation.

At TCM, the Norwegian government is collaborating with major international oil - and energy companies in an effort to test and verify carbon capture technologies, and bring down costs. Further collaboration with other companies, universities and research institutions are being discussed. I.e. United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been invited to participate in the partnership.

Despite a number of canceled and delayed projects in 2011, there were no traces of doubt about the future of CCS among the companies that participated in the panel discussion on carbon capture and storage (CCS) during the prestigious World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.The Abu Dhabi companies Masdar and Adnoc actually announced the fact that they have decided to implement a major CCS project. With up to 6 million tons of CO2 captured and injected annually, this will be the largest full-scale CCS project in the country.

The news is particularly gratifying in light of all the delays announced last year, and not least for the region with the world's highest carbon footprint.

TCM's stand at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi (Photo: Vegar Stokset)

Abu Dhabi has really made its mark on the clean energy front, and the World Future Energy Summit has become one of the leading forums in the world to discuss green solutions and showcase environmental technology. More than 26,000 participants, including 3,000 delegates and 650 companies participated this year in this major clean energy conference. This year’s conference was opened Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, focusing on China's huge investment in renewable and clean energy.

Wind and solar companies dominate the exhibition and conference program, but it's really impressive to see the wealth of innovation in so many areas in order to save energy and produce energy and products with less impact on the environment.

Panel discussion
In the panel discussion on CCS participated Liv Monica Bargem Stubholt from Aker Clean Carbon, John Barry Shell, Bader Al Lakmi from Masdar Carbon, Saif Al Sayari from Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, and Bernd Hollings from Linde.

Stubholt did not hide the fact that 2011 had been a particularly challenging year with a lot of bad news, but the company still has a strong belief in CCS.

- CCS will be a solid, accessible and sustainable alternative for decades to come. The need for fossil fuels will continue to increase, and we therefore need CCS, she said.

Aker Clean Carbon will in the future work closely with Aker Solutions with various CCS projects. Stubholt highlighted the Technology Center Mongstad (TCM) as an example of a unique and highly sophisticated technology project, and commended the owners (Gassnova on behalf of the Norwegian State, Statoil, Shell and Sasol) for their willingness to invest.

Shell's country manager in Abu Dhabi, John Barry, stressed the necessity of long-term CCS:
- We need to be both visionary and persevering, said Barry.

Several CCS projects have been postponed or canceled due to high development costs, lack of funding and lack of legal framework. Lack of public acceptance of specific developments, particularly those with a storage mechanism onshore, has been a challenge for many projects.

With regard to costs, Barry said that we probably will see the same significant cost reductions as when the industry got rid of sulfur emissions. Costs were halved over a 20-year period.

Hollings from Linde mentioned the many EU demonstration projects now competing for funds from the NER 300 program, and some of these projects are scheduled to come on stream around 2015-16.

Bader Al Lakmi from Masdar emphasized that carbon capture technology is largely in place, but that costs must come down. In the Gulf States, the focus is on projects where the CO2 captured can be used for enhanced oil recovery. During the conference, they announced that CO2 captured from Mussafah project will be utilized to enhance recovery of Adnocs Rumaitha field 50 km away.

Al Lakmi called for a more consolidated effort to bring down costs. Efforts are fragmented. What is needed now is more cooperation globally to reduce costs, he said. Companies, government and academia must work together more closely, he said.

TCM, which is the world's largest center for testing and improvement of CO2-capture technologies, starts shortly up the testing of CO2 capture by amine plant built by Aker Clean Carbon. Later this year, start testing the chilled ammonia plant supplied by Alstom.

Publisert 1/23/2012

Sist endret 1/24/2012

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