Nuon gears up for Buggenum CO2 project

29 April 2009

Dutch utility Nuon is planning to start construction of a major CO2 capture pilot project at the Buggenum power plant in the next few weeks.

The company has signed a building contract with Spie Controlec Engineering bv and also says that it has received all the necessary permits for the project, which should be up and running in the second half of 2010. The project is an important part of Nuon’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) development plans and also a crucial element of plans to install CCS technology at a new coal gasification plant.

At Buggenum, Nuon will trial its CO2 capture technology for around two years in a project costing EUR40 million. The company hopes that the installation will give it the knowledge and experience to construct a commercial-scale CO2 capture plant at Nuon Magnum, a new coal and biomass gasification plant planned at Eemshaven, near Groningen, the Netherlands.

“The power plant in Buggenum offers excellent opportunities for testing CO2 capture because fuels are gasified there already,” said Øystein Løseth, CEO of Nuon. “This makes it possible to capture CO2 before the combustion process. Nuon is the first company in northern Europe to use this technique.”

Nuon sees pre-combustion CO2 capture as being cleaner than post-CO2 capture. “It’s more efficient, somewhat cheaper and the installation take up less room,” said Løseth. “We are proud that we are able to carry out this trial in Limburg and hope to be able to apply the technology in Eemshaven as well.”

To restrict the building activities at the site, the test installation will be constructed in five big parts. The components will be transported mainly by water and the individual parts will be joined together in Buggenum.

Nuon’s development of the technology to be trialled at Buggenum has been carried out in conjunction with ECN, TNO, Delft University and Kema. It has also received EUR10 million of funding from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

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