Reports/Opinions

CCS (Reviews and Prospects of ICEF 2017 Concurrent Sessions)

Posted by Alex Zapantis December 13, 2017 General Manager Commercial, Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute

The CCS session was Chaired by Alex Zapantis, General Manager Commercial at the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, and joined by four excellent speakers:

  •  ● Mr. Ian Yeates, Director, Carbon Capture and Storage Initiatives, Planning, Environment and Sustainable Development Division, SaskPower
  •  ● Dr. Leslie Mabon, Lecturer in Sociology, School of Applied Social Studies, Robert Gordon University
  •  ● Mr. Yutaka Tanaka, General Manager, Technology and Planning Department, Japan CCS Co., Ltd.
  •  ● Mr. Nobuyuki Zaima, Director General (Clean Coal), Environment Department, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization

The session was opened by describing the many dimensions of sustainable development that the United Nations had defined in the Sustainability Goals, and the importance of recognising that achieving all of them was important. CCS contributes to the achievement of several of the goals including:

  •  ● Affordable and Clean Energy
  •  ● Industry Innovation and Infrastructure
  •  ● Industry, Decent Work and Economic Growth
  •  ● No Poverty
  •  ● Sustainable Cities and Communities
  •  ● Climate Action

Mr. Yeates described the first few years of operation of the Boundary Dam CCS facility owned by SaskPower in Canada. This facility was the world’s first large scale retrofit of CCS to a coal fired generator. The facility has captured well over one million tonnes of CO2 to date. SaskPower’s experience described by Mr. Yeates is consistent with the normal learning process associated with any first-of-a kind industrial facility. Design deficiencies and performance difficulties with some subsystems were identified and rectified. These included improvements to electrostatic precipitators, heat exchangers, fixing a leaking tank and a faulty compressor. Boundary Dam illustrates the classical first mover risk problem. Those problems only need to be solved once – later facilities, such as Petra Nova, benefit from lessons learned by first-movers.

Dr. Mabon spoke of the importance of public acceptance of CCS, noting that Europe has reached the point where actually building CCS facilities would be required to truly understand community views. He went on to describe the role of CCS in a just transition to the new low emission economy. Many communities currently rely upon emissions intense industry or fossil fuel production/utilisation as a major source of employment and economic activity. Aberdeen in Scotland, where Dr. Mabon lives, relies on oil/gas production, which is now in decline in this region resulting in many thousands of job losses and devastating the local economy. CCS allows emissions intensive industries to continue to support economic development in local communities under ever-more stringent climate policies necessary to meet climate targets. The economic and social value of CCS is enormous and extends well beyond the direct climate benefits that it delivers.

Mr. Tanaka described the very successful Tomakomai CCS demonstration project on the Japanese Island of Hokkaido funded by the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI). This facility will store at least 100,000 tonnes of CO2 from a hydrogen production plant at an oil refinery, 2000-3000 metres below the sea floor. The project employed advanced directional drilling technology which allows the injection well to be located on-shore whilst the target CO2 storage reservoir is a kilometre off-shore. The operator of the facility, Japan CCS, has put in place a world class monitoring program and the project is operating smoothly. Injection is planned for approximately a three years period.

Mr. Zaima described the excellent research, development and demonstration program into low emission coal technology managed by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and funded by METI.  A technology roadmap for next generation thermal power generation was developed and NEDO is supporting several technology development initiatives including:

  •  ● Integrated Gasification Fuel Cell with CCS at the Osaki Coolgen 166MW facility
  •  ● Reducing emission from steel production in the COURSE50 project

NEDO and METI oversee a comprehensive and strategic program to develop the technologies necessary to support the new low emission industries of the future. CCS is a critical component.