Norway to host zero CO2 power station test project

An emission-free, natural gas power station is to be tested in Norway. The decision follows the collapse of the previous coalition Government brought about by a debate over whether to approve the construction of five conventional natural gas powered stations.

The 250 kW plant, to be built by Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation and operated by Norske Shell, will ‘capture’ all CO2 emissions using carbon dioxide recovery technology developed by Shell Hydrogen. The plant will generate electricity using Siemens Westinghouse’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology.

The CO2 will either be sequestered in underground reservoirs for use by the oil and gas industries, or used to increase the production of crops or feed for fisheries. The station’s Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions will also be low, at less than 0.5 ppm.

Until recently, Norway was regarded as a world leader in the race to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The recently-toppled coalition Government had been committed to a climate change policy that prevented the construction of new power stations. But opposition parties used the debate about power stations to carry a vote of no-confidence in the Government, arguing that natural gas powered stations could substitute coal-fired power periodically imported from Denmark to meet rising industrial demand for electricity (see related story).

Once tested, the two corporations hope similar stations could power offshore oil and gas operations within five years. This is particularly important in Norway where 20% of the country’s CO2 emissions arise from offshore activities.

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