GHGT-13: International Developments in CCS

In November 2016, Quintessa attended the 13th Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT-13), in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Over the years many studies (re-iterated at GHGT-13) have shown that any serious attempt to limit climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions will require Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).  Globally there are 21 large-scale CCS projects in operation or under construction. In total the CO2 capture capacity of these 21 projects is about 40 Mtpa.  Three recently operational projects highlighted at GHGT-13 were Shell’s Quest project in Alberta, Canada, the Boundary Dam project in Saskatchewan, Canada and the Tomakomai project in Hokkaido, Japan.

At GHGT-13, there was evidence of an increasing focus on deploying CCS on industrial sources of CO2 (e.g. chemical works, steel works, cement works).  In addition, many of the presentations at GHGT-13 highlighted the research being undertaken to improve the economic case for CCS by linking it to other activities. Examples are:

  1. storing energy in the form of heated and / or compressed CO2;
  2. using CO2 instead of water in fracking projects (in which case much of the CO2 stays in the fractured formation); and
  3. using CO2 in so-called enhanced geothermal systems (where its low viscosity is also advantageous).

Richard Metcalfe attended GHGT-13 to present a risk assessment for the offshore CO2 storage component of the proposed White Rose Carbon Capture and Storage Project (White Rose CCS Project). Quintessa undertook this assessment under contract to National Grid Carbon Limited (NGC). The assessment was structured using Quintessa’s decision-support software TESLA.

The White Rose CCS Project was undertaken by Capture Power Limited, a consortium of Alstom, Drax and BOC, together with NGC, which was responsible for the offshore CO2 storage component of the project. It was proposed to construct an oxy-fuel power plant at Drax, Yorkshire, England, and transport high-purity CO2 produced by the plant via a c.165 km long pipeline to a location c.75 km offshore from eastern England. There, it was planned to inject the CO2 into an underground “saline aquifer” storage reservoir, the Endurance CO2 Store.

The risk assessment was a contribution to a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study, which was undertaken by Capture Power Limited and NGC under contract to the UK government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), under the auspices of DECC’s UK CCS Commercialisation Programme. This programme took the form of a competition by which DECC intended to identify one or more full-scale demonstration CCS projects that would attract UK government financial support. The project was terminated after the UK government’s decision to end its Carbon Capture and Storage commercialisation competition in November 2015. However, the FEED study established the technical viability of the White Rose CCS project.

It is possible to view the poster presented at the conference.

Abstracts from the conference will be published by Energy Procedia in due course.

Update 3 March 2017: Corrected the Energy Procedia link.