Politics Belching Smoke at Sunset

Published on September 24th, 2013 | by Anneli Hidalgo


Norway changes carbon capture plan

The development of full-scale carbon dioxide capture at Mongstad is discontinued, stated Norway’s oil and energy ministry recently.

The plan had previously been to capture carbon emissions from a natural gas plant at the site and then pipe them into underground storage on the Norwegian continental shelf. Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe points out that integrating a full-scale capture facility at Mongstad would be both challenging and costly. The uncertainty of the project has increased, because, inter alia, the refinery industry in Northwest Europe is currently facing a hard time. At the same time, the development of the capture facility is now reaching a new phase, in which continuation would entail high costs, he says.

“CCS is essential to combat climate change. We have made considerable progress in developing the necessary technology. The Government now re-enforces its commitment. A full-scale CO2 capture facility is still the objective. The Government has, however, concluded, after careful consideration, that the risk connected to the Mongstad facility is too high and has for that reason decided that the work on the full-scale facility will be discontinued,” said Energy Ola Borten Moe.

The Minister further stated that “we are at a crossroads, and have to consider if the full-scale CCS project should be continued at Mongstad.” The Norwegian Government has concluded to consider other possible projects that can be realized within 2020, as agreed in the bi-partisan Climate Agreement in the Norwegian Parliament. “We have gained valuable experience at Mongstad, which can be of use in other projects.”

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