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Maasvlakte Fact Sheet: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Project

Company/Alliance: E.ON Benelux, Electrabel, GDF Suez and Alstom
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Feedstock: Coal (and Biomass)
Size: 1100 MW: 5 MT/Yr CO2
Capture Technology: Post-combustion
CO2 Fate: Enhanced Gas Recovery (EGR) Offshore P18-A platform
Timing: Plant operation (2013); Carbon capture (2015)

Motivation/Economics: Awarded €180 million from EU government in December 2009 as part of government economic recovery act. Awarded €150million by the Dutch Government for 2010-2020 (May 2010). The total cost of the project is €1.2 billion.

Comments: This project is also called The Rotterdam Carbon Storage and Demonstration Project (ROAD). This will be a new unit on an existing power plant and is being designed for subsequent retrofitting with carbon capture technology. Strategically located near the North Sea and the Rotterdam harbour area, the new power plant can maximally profit from seawater for cooling and deep waterways for supply of coal and biomass. The power plant will have an efficiency of approximately 46%. E.ON signed up with the Rotterdam Climate Initiative in February 2009.

Project Link: E.ON Maasvlakte power station

Post-Combustion Capture Projects for a Cleaner Future of Energy

As one of the world's leading power and gas companies, E.ON is spurring the development of CCS technology and is supporting more than 80 promising R&D projects along the entire CCS value chain. Some of these projects E.ON is conducting itself, and some are partnerships with renowned companies and research institutes. E.ON plan to spend about EUR100 million on CCS research in the years ahead. Its top R&D priority is post-combustion capture.

E.ON believe its focus on post-combustion capture makes sense for three reasons.

1. Post-combustion capture is compatible with proven, and highly developed generation technologies and processes.
2. It can be retrofitted onto existing power plants, which will reduce the emissions of fossil-fuel-fired generation more rapidly.
3. E.ON is convinced that it has significant potential and that our intensive R&D effort will help pave the way to commercial viability in the foreseeable future.

Overview of the Most Important E.ON-Projects

Although post-combustion capture is a very promising technology, it's not yet mature enough for use in coal-fired power plants. For it to be viable on a commercial scale, advances need to be made in the solvents and processes involved in scrubbing CO2 from flue gas, which would reduce fuel consumption and operating costs.

E.ON is investing in numerous R&D projects related to post-combustion capture, mainly to maximize thermal efficiency and perfect the scrubbing process. To give our R&D the best chances for success, E.ON is working with the world's leading equipment manufacturers and with internationally renowned research institutes.

Below are the projects E.ON is actively engaged in to help ensure that post-combustion capture is ready for commercial operation in coal-fired power plants by 2020.  

CCS Pilot plant at Maasvlakte power station

The pilot unit began operating in the autumn of 2009. E.ON now has 2,000 hours experience of stable operation, and a 90% capture rate can be achieved, or about 30 metric tons of CO2 per day. The unit was built by France's Alstom, one of the world's leading manufacturers of generation equipment. It is the first project in Europe to use cooled ammonia as a solvent, and reduced ammonia emissions are possible.

CCS Pilot unit at Karlshamn power station (Sweden) in partnership with Alstom

E.ON is working with TNO, a Dutch research company, to test an amine-based scrubbing process in a CATO pilot unit located at Maasvlakte, an E.ON coal-fired power station in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The first phase started in spring 2008 and finished in spring 2009. Amino acid salts are the reason for very low emissions, with stable operating conditions capturing over 90% of the CO2. There are several campaigns on the way with improved solvents to reduce energy demand. CATO is a Dutch industrial consortium that conducts an extensive publicly funded research program. CATO-2, the follow-up project, will continue to operate the pilot unit and focus on CCS basic research and applying the technology to full-scale power plants.

CCS pilot plant with Hitachi Power Europe and Electrabel, Gelderland, Netherlands

E.ON is partnering with Hitachi Power Europe and Belgium's Electrabel to build a test unit to find a new, improved solvent that makes carbon capture more efficient. The unit is designed for a maximum flow rate of 5,000 cubic meters of flue gas per hour and for four years of operational testing. This plant is currently under construction and will be commissioned in December 2011.

CCS Pilot plant at Staudinger in cooperation with Siemens

E.ON has partnered with Siemens in a government-sponsored research project to develop an innovative solvent that will form the basis for a new post-combustion capture process. This pilot unit will be in operation at E.ON's Staudinger power station which is currently under construction and will commission in December 2011.

CCS Pilot plant at Wilhelmshaven with Fluor Corporation

E.ON is developing a pilot unit that will be the first to test U.S.-based Fluor Corporation's patented CO2 capture technology (Econamine-FG+) in a coal-fired power plant. The project's main objective is to further optimize this process. Starting in summer 2011, the equipment will operate in the existing generating units of E.ON's Wilhelmshaven power station. The project will cost approximately EUR11 million.

Maasvlakte CCS Demo Project

A joint venture of E.ON Benelux and Electrabel Nederland (Part of the GdF SUEZ Group) with TAQA Nederland proposed as the storage provider. The project is a 1100MW advanced supercritical coal power station due to begin operation in 2013. It's a post combustion capture technology and plans to capture 1.1m tons CO2 per year. It has financial support of the EU and Dutch Government (up to EUR180 million and EUR150 million respectively).

Kingsnorth hard coal power station with CCS

E.ON is still planning to build a new supercritical coal-fired power plant with CCS at Kingsnorth. It will be located at E.ON UK's Kingsnorth power station and will emit 10 percent less CO2 than an older plant of its size. As with all of our new coal-fired plants, this one is being built capture ready. The site is close to the North Sea, which has huge potential for underground carbon storage.

Other Research and Development activities in CCS

In conjunction with the above projects, E.ON is working with renowned universities and research institutes in Europe and North America to conduct basic research in order to develop better solvents and to make the capture process more efficient.