In April 2012, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change published the country’s first Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Roadmap, a document which set out the steps that the UK Government is taking to develop a “new, world-leading CCS industry in the 2020s”.
As Editor John Tiratsoo states in the recent edition of the Journal of Pipeline Engineering, the Roadmap emphasises that tackling climate change requires global action, and every country needs to play its part. For the UK, this will mean a transformation in the way the country generates and uses energy – a long-term transition to secure, affordable, low-carbon energy on the way to an 80 per cent cut in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.
The UK Government is seeking to support the development of a sustainable CCS industry that will capture emissions from clusters of power and industrial plants linked together by a pipeline network transporting CO2 to suitable storage sites, such as under the North and Irish Seas.
Some of the steps the UK Government is taking in promoting this include:Article continues below…
- An approximately $US200 million, four-year, co-ordinated research and development and innovation programme;
- Further work to support the CCS supply chain, and to develop transport and storage networks;
- Establishment of a UK CCS research centre, which will bring together approximately 100 of the UK’s top CCS academics to support core research, development, and innovation activities; and,
- An approximately $US1.6 billion CCS commercialisation programme to support commercial-scale CCS schemes, targeted specifically at “learning by doing” and to share the resulting knowledge.
Competitors for the UK’s CCS funding
The CCS commercialisation programme has instigated competition between a number of consortiums eager to win funding for their projects.
A consortium between BOC, International Power, National Grid, Fairfield Energy, Premier Oil and Progressive Energy is planning to bid for funding to develop the Teesside Low Carbon CCS project, which will form the anchor for the development of a power and industrial CCS cluster in Teesside and the wider northeast of England.
The proposed project – to be built on the Wilton site, an industrial complex in Teesside – will provide sufficient low-carbon electricity for over half a million households, as well as enable vital carbon capture infrastructure for key industrial CO2 emitters in the region.
The majority of the CO2 will enter a new pipeline provided by National Grid Carbon for transportation to a depleted oil field in the central North Sea where it will be injected for permanent storage.
Summit Power Group, National Grid and Petrofac intend to develop a low-carbon power plant in Scotland that will include full-chain, commercial-scale CCS.
The proposed power plant, to be named the Caledonia Clean Energy Project, will be based at the Port of Grangemouth, west of Edinburgh on the Firth of Forth, Scotland. With more than 90 per cent carbon capture, the coal feedstock plant will generate extremely low-carbon electric power and also produce hydrogen gas for commercial use.
The captured CO2 will be transported via pipeline to St Fergus by National Grid Carbon before being transferred offshore for geological sequestration under the North Sea by Petrofac subsidiary CO2 DeepStore.
Capture Power Ltd, comprising Alstom, Drax and BOC, has proposed the White Rose CCS Project, which will burn coal with the potential to co-fire sustainable biomass and be fully equipped with CCS technology.
The proposed 426 MW power plant will be located on land adjacent to Drax’s existing power station near Selby, North Yorkshire. The plant will generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent needs of over 630,000 homes, with 90 per cent of all the CO2 produced by the plant being captured and transported by pipeline for permanent storage beneath the North Sea seabed.
A need for CO2 pipelines across the globe
The UK is not the only country looking into CCS technology. Earlier this year, Duke Energy and China Huaneng Group signed a three-year agreement expanding their research co-operation in the areas of advanced coal and CCS technologies.
In 2009, the two parties initially signed a Memorandum of Understanding to pursue high-level discussions and information sharing on a number of renewable and clean-energy fronts. This was the same year in which Huaneng Group developed a facility that economically captured 120,000 t/a of CO2 emitted from the 1,320 MW coal-fired Shidongkou Power Station in China.
Under the recent expanded agreement, Duke and Huaneng Group will undertake an engineering study to determine the potential feasibility of applying Huaneng Group’s low-cost carbon capture process at Unit 3 of Duke Energy’s Gibson Station in Indiana, the United States.
The Norwegian Government is developing a large-scale CCS project with Statoil, which involves CO2 capture, transport and storage from a new combined heat and power plant located at Mongstad, which is expected to be operational this year. Captured CO2 will be transported by pipeline for storage under the seabed in the North Sea.
The ROAD (Rotterdam Opslag en Afvang Demonstratieproject) CCS project is being developed in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The project intends to construct a post-combustion capture plant on the coal-fired plant that E.ON is building in Maasvlakte.
After it is captured, CO2 from the plant will be compressed and transported via an approximately 25 km onshore and offshore pipeline to a platform in the North Sea where it will be injected into depleted gas reservoirs.
In the United States, CO2 pipelines continue to be in demand for enhanced oil recovery.
At the time of writing, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners had just signed a contract involving the transportation of CO2 via its existing 146 km, 10 inch diameter Eastern Shelf Pipeline to a project near the company’s Katz Field, located in the eastern Permian Basin of Texas.
The contract, which will commence in 2014, is expected to increase CO2 transported via pipeline to more than 130 MMcf/d.
Also at the time of writing, Enhanced Oil Resources was considering the construction of a new 66 km CO2 pipeline to connect its Milnesand and Chaveroo oil fields, located in New Mexico, to Kinder Morgan’s existing Cortez CO2 pipeline by September 2015.
Staying up-to-date on CO2 pipelines
With CCS technology continuing to develop around the world, it is important that the pipeline industry keeps up with the issues surrounding the transportation of CO2 by pipeline – and the solutions available. See page 22 to find out how you can stay up-to-date on this topic via the Third International Forum on Transportation of CO2 by Pipeline.