The world’s first full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project involving an energy-from waste plant was signed off in 2020, with €2.1 billion of investment from Norway. The European Economic Area’s financial watchdog signed off on the CCS project, which was tendered in April 2020, while financial backing was confirmed from the EFTA Surveillance Authority. The ESA oversees compliance with EU state rules for Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland.

This revolutionary technology will be installed at the waste-to-energy plant at Fortum Oslo Varme and a cement-producing facility in Brevik owned by Norcem. [The role of waste-to-energy projects is outlined in the short video attachment to this post.

Duncan Clark, Renovare Fuels’s Director, has a long-standing interest in waste-to-energy projects as part of the company’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions.

Equinor

Equinor, which is based in Stavanger, has begun the work of searching for a contractor for the CCS project, who will be responsible for the construction, engineering and procurement of a plant to import and store carbon dioxide. CO2 liquid will be taken from the Norcem and Fortum sites, with further unallocated capacity for CO2 coming from other capture sites both nationally and internationally.

Equinor has a second CCS interest with Drax power plant in the UK, a majority biomass-fired plant. In September 2019, Equinor joined with Stockholm Exergi, Arcelor Mittal, Preem, Fortum, Ervia and Air Liquide to sign memorandums of understanding for the development of value chains as part of the ongoing CCS project.

What Is CCS?

CCS, or carbon capture and storage, is an umbrella term for the group of technologies that aim to remove almost all of the CO2 from large-scale point carbon sources, which include fossil fuel power and energy-intensive industries such as refining, cement and steel. CCS can also be combined with natural gas to produce low-carbon hydrogen, which in turn facilitates the removal of emissions from heating in both industrial and domestic settings. When used in conjunction with bioenergy, CCS technologies can go so far as to remove CO2 from the atmosphere as a negative emissions technology.

The embedded infographic outlines four different waste-to-energy processes.

Capture, Transport, Storage

No matter which technology is being used, CCS is a three-part process. It begins with capture: carbon dioxide is captured from fossil fuel processes or from industrial processes, rather than being released into the atmosphere.

The gas is then transported via ship or pipeline to a suitable site for storage. Pipeline transportation uses most of the same equipment and materials as those used in transporting natural gas, so in many cases redundant infrastructure can be re-used.

Once transported, the CO2 can then be safely stored in areas such as depleted oil and gas fields, under the seabed or in deep saline formations, several kilometres below the surface of the earth.

Contract for Tender

The contract for tender for the Equinor CCS project will include jetty facilities for CO2 imports from ships, intermediate CO2 storage, process systems for liquid CO2 conditioning, a seawater circulation system for the pipeline export tunnel, a fully equipped substation featuring HVAC rooms, control systems, equipment for automation, telecommunications and electrical equipment, quality control for CO2, power supply to ship when berthed, utilities, a control room, and area preparations for tunnel drilling. Promising results have already occurred at the Fortum site along with reductions in cost, making waste-from-energy projects more viable.

The PDF attachment looks at some statistics and facts about landfill in the UK, demonstrating the need for more technologies to convert waste into energy.