Representative from TNO and CLIMIT.
Over the course of the two-day trip, the programme board visited Dutch research communities and industry players who are working on CCS – carbon capture and storage.
CLIMIT's mandate requires the programme board to keep up-to-date on international activities that are of significance for the programme. To accomplish this, CLIMIT arranges an educational trip to other countries every other year, in combination with a meeting of the programme board. International contacts have become even more important now that the CLIMIT programme has intensified its focus on international cooperation.
This year's trip was to the Netherlands, where the Dutch are active in developing CCS technology and have a financing programme similar to CLIMIT, called CATO.
The CATO programme finances research in cooperation with the industry. The programme is managed by TNO, a research group comparable to Sintef. Just like Sintef, TNO possesses expertise in many areas and takes part in international consortiums involved in CCS.
E.ON's power plant in Rotterdam.
The programme board also visited E.ON's power plant in Rotterdam and received an introduction to the ROAD project, which has long been considered the most promising CCS demonstration project in Europe. The power plant is situated in the middle of an industrial area.
"It was interesting to see how a major power plant is integrated into an industrial landscape. A power plant is more than just a power plant, after all. It also supplies steam, and possibly also CO2, in addition to power. At this industrial area in Rotterdam, infrastructure and a market for delivering CO2 are already in place. For example, Shell sells CO2 from its refinery to large greenhouses nearby," says Gassnova's head of technology and chair of CLIMIT's secretariat, Hans Jörg Fell.
Shell is one of the most active oil companies in both capture and storage of CO2, and the programme board visited the company's research centre in Amsterdam. Here the members were given insight into Shell's many projects, and a tour of the laboratory revealed that Shell is studying many promising technological solutions. The company has a clear, stated objective of being ready from the very day that CCS becomes a commercial technology. The company conducts a comprehensive R&D programme in order to achieve this objective.
Coordinating support schemes
The programme board and the secretariat scheduled several follow-up meetings with the Dutch players, where the dialogue with TNO was the most concrete initiative.
"We have scheduled follow-up talks with TNO where we intend to look into the possibility of stimulating cross-border projects, and possibly also coordinating financing in the two countries," says Fell.
One possible model is for research players in the two countries to unite forces in joint projects where the Norwegian players apply for support from CLIMIT, while the Dutch players seek support from CATO.