Norway’s former left-center government didn’t manage to get its own much-hyped carbon capture project up and running at the Mongstad refinery on the west coast, but now the new conservative government is happy to help finance another such project in the EU.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported last week that Oil & Energy Minister Tord Lien of the conservative Progress Party is willing to hand over NOK 100 million (USD 17 million) for a carbon capture plant at a coal-fired power plant in Rotterdam. The project is expected to clean as much emission from the Dutch plant as the Mongstad project before it was put on ice.
Rotterdam Capture and Storage Demonstration Project is part of E.ON’s power plant under construction at Maasvlakte, outside Rotterdam. Plans call for capturing and storing 1.1 million tons of CO2 from 2017 but they’re not fully financed. That’s where Norway is helping to close the gap, so the project can qualify for EU funds. Lien denies the government is simply trying to replace the stalled Mongstad plant with the Dutch one, at a fraction of the cost.
“This is not meant to replace full-scale carbon capture in Norway,” he told DN. “The problem with Mongstad wasn’t that it lacked money. In the US there are several promising projects, despite far less hype around them than in Norway. Here at home, results have been mediocre, even weaker in Europe. That’s why we wanted to respond positively to this EU project. Carbon capture otherwise has proven to be more demanding than expected.”