They join a roster of existing projects, including the 17-year-old Sleipner CO2 project in the North Sea, where CO2 is injected underneath the seafloor after capture from a natural gas processing plant.
Cost remains a daunting problem
There are eight projects under construction, including two -- Southern Co.'s Kemper County Energy Facility in Mississippi and SaskPower's Boundary Dam Project near Estevan, Saskatchewan -- that could change the dynamic for coal and the power sector in general. If all eight are built, all global projects could block 38 million metric tons of annual greenhouse gases from reaching the atmosphere, a 52 percent increase from today, according to the institute.
"The bottom line in terms of Kemper is that it allows us to do things better, faster, cheaper," said Victor Der, general manager for North America of the Global CCS Institute, at an event in Washington, D.C.
With power generation, the capture component constitutes more than 90 percent of the cost of a full CCS operation, from the smokestack to storage spot. The hope with the $4.75 billion Kemper facility and Canada's Boundary Dam is that they will bring costs down for the next generation of projects.
Mississippi Power, a Southern Co. subsidiary, announced last week that the project would not meet its planned May 2014 deadline and would lose $133 million in federal tax credits (ClimateWire, Oct. 4).
The projects under construction also include the first-ever large CO2 capture system in Canada's oil sands (ClimateWire, Sept. 6, 2012).
To boost the number of projects, the report recommends additional financial support for both construction and research, to reduce the cost of CO2 capture. It says there is no one-size-fits-all option -- capital grants, subsidies and ratepayer cost recovery agreements all have been used effectively to boost the technology.
It also calls for new large CO2 "trunk lines" that connect one or more large projects to reduce costs. The Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, for instance, is a 149-mile pipeline that will eventually carry CO2 from various Alberta emitters for use in enhanced oil recovery operations.
"Urgent action is required to limit, alleviate and, where possible, reverse the damaging effects of the rise in the temperature of our planet," said Global CCS Institute CEO Brad Page.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500