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Dec 16, 2011

Norway to commission $1bn carbon capture and storage project in 2012

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The Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) in Norway, in which South African petrochemicals giant Sasol has a share, would be commissioned in the second quarter of 2012, Norwegian State-owned oil and gas company Gassnova CEO Bjørn-Erik Haugan said earlier this month.

The $1-billion TCM project is currently under construction and will test, verify and demonstrate technology suitable for the deployment of large-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) capture facilities and further develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. Test facilities would capture 100 000 t/y of CO2.

Haugan said the project was 85% complete to date.

Sasol acquired a 2.44% share of the capital and operating costs of the project, and its partners in the project are Gassnova, A/S Norske Shell and Statoil. Through the TCM project, Sasol would have full participation in technology development and demonstration, proving capture for diluted CO2 streams was possible.

Speaking at a CCS seminar in Durban, Haugan said governments must stand by industry to pioneer CCS projects.

He referred to some large, high-profile projects in the past five to six years that had been launched but had fallen by the wayside.

Haugan believed guidelines and incentives had to be developed for industry to enable a unified, competitive playing field in the CCS market.

“The world is calling for a standard price for carbon, but it is not happening at the level that is required. Hence, industry must be incentivised and governments need to realise they cannot do without industry.”

Reducing the costs associated with CCS, broad-based research and development and creating awareness and acceptance for CCS through a public communication exercise were needed to remove the barriers preventing the development of CCS globally.

“There is a need to overcome all challenges preventing the legal, financial and technical framework needed for the success of CCS,” Haugan said.

He also said it was necessary for CCS not to be associated just with power plants, but also with process industries.

“CCS is not a quick-fix to climate change, but it is necessary for governments to keep pressing the issue and moving forward with this clean coal technology,” he said.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
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