Norway to test CO2-free power generation

Shell, Siemens announce plans to build pilot gas-fired plant with CO2 recovery technology

A pilot project to test the viability of zero carbon dioxide emitting gas-fired power stations is to be launched in Norway with the construction of a 250kW plant this autumn, Royal Dutch/Shell and Siemens Westinghouse announced today. Norway's government resigned last month after opposition parties approved plans to build several natural gas power plants without such CO2 cleansing technology (ENDS Daily 9 March).

The pilot plant will be based on new solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and carbon dioxide (CO2) recovery technologies developed by the two companies. Captured CO2 would be sequestered in underground reservoirs, after which it could be injected into oil wells to increase production or sold for use in fish farms, agricultural greenhouses and the like. "An additional benefit of the technology is that nitrogen oxide emissions are extremely low (at less than 0.5ppm) compared with other power generation technologies", Shell said in a press release.

"One of the early applications is likely to be offshore oil and gas operations, which require huge amounts of electricity. This is particularly important in Norway where 20% of the country's CO2 emissions comes from its offshore activities." The technology could also be used for larger, land-based power stations, according to Norske Shell, but is not expected to be commercially viable for fine years.

Follow Up:
Norske Shell, tel: +47 22 66 50 00.

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