Alstom has contracted to install a carbon capture and storage (CCS) system at a project in Poland as part of its plans to commercialise the technology.
The engineering firm has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with PGE Elektrownia Belchatow S.A. to implement CCS technology at the Belchatow power plant, a move that could result in the capture of more than 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.
Alstom has also joined 14 other organisations in calling on EU governments to support the financing and development of CCS demonstration projects in Europe.
The initiative in Poland is one of the candidate projects for the EU Flagship Programme for Carbon Capture and Storage. The project will use Alstom’s advanced amine scrubbing technology, which the company is developing in conjunction with The Dow Chemical Company.
In the first phase of the project, Alstom will design and construct a pilot carbon capture plant at the existing unit 12 of Belchatow. The pilot will be jointly operated by Alstom and Elektrownia Belchatow and is expected to be in operation by 2011.
During the second phase, Alstom and Elektrownia Belchatow will build a larger CCS plant at the new 858 MW lignite-fired unit currently being built by Alstom for Elektrownia Belchatow. This CCS plant will be operational by 2015.
The first phase of the project will capture 100 000 tonnes per year of CO2.
“This MoU has enabled Alstom and its partners to play a key role in reducing Poland’s carbon emissions,” said Philippe Joubert, Alstom Executive Vice President and President, Power Systems. “The agreement is integral to Alstom’s global CO2 strategy, with the large-scale capture plant at Belchatow providing the last step to full commercialisation of our amine-based CO2 capture technology.”
Alstom announced in February 2008 that it had signed an exclusive agreement with Dow to develop carbon capture technology. It has also signed agreements with AEP, Statoil, Vattenfall and E.On to test CO2 capture technologies in the USA and Europe.
The company is one of 15 organizations to have signed a common letter to EU heads of state and government encouraging financial support for CCS demonstration projects. The signatories – which also include Fortum, Vattenfall, BP, GE, Siemens and RWE – say that political leadership on CCS will be essential for successful development of the technology and for achieving emission reduction targets.
“We jointly call for urgent decisions, lead by the French Presidency and the European Council, to establish a robust funding mechanism, building on the proposals advanced by the European Parliament,” say the 15 companies in the letter. “This should deliver an EU-wide programme that ensures geographic balance, prioritises best public value, and delivers a financial mechanism that is time and volume limited, transparent, competitive and market-based.
“The private sector is willing to continue investing significantly in the development of CCS technologies, and stands ready to share the development risks associated with the 12 CCS demonstration projects on a ‘no performance, no pay’ basis.”
By the end of 2008, Alstom will have started operation at three CO2 capture pilot projects, with EPRI and We Energies in Wisconsin, USA, E.ON in Sweden and Vattenfall in Germany.