Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg has officially opened the world’s largest and most advanced centre for the testing and development of carbon capture technologies.

The NOK5.8 million government-funded centre at Mongstad is able to test two post-combustion carbon capture technologies and has invited vendors in the field to participate in the programme.

The opening ceremony marks the end of the construction phase of Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) and the start of the first phase of testing.

“The knowledge we gain here at Mongstad will help prepare the ground for future CO2 capture initiatives, and thereby combat climate change,” Stoltenberg said.

Aker Clean Carbon and Alstom will test their respective carbon capture technologies in the first phase of operations at TCM, which recently invited more vendors to compete for a role in the second phase. The technologies will capture carbon from the flue gas streams of an adjacent gas-fired combined heat and power plant and a refinery catalytic cracker.

TCM, a joint venture of Shell, Statoil, Sasol and Norwegian government-owned Gassnova, says that the response from vendors has been “overwhelming”. It intends to become a global resource centre for carbon capture technologies and will share the knowledge gained from testing with vendors and the global research community.