Project partnersSINTEF, NTNU, IFE Venture AS, Universitetet i Sør-Øst Norge, TCM DA, Norcem AS, Yara International, Miljøstiftelsen Bellona
Project period09/17 – 11/20
Background and project purpose?
ALIGN-CCUS was an ACT project that focused on developing cost-effective technologies for the entire CCUS chain, which can be realized in the near future (5-10 years) in the power and process industries. The project was initiated on the basis of the EU project OCTAVIUS and a desire for the continuation of certain issues. Admittedly, this project was a pure capture project, but the need to work more closely with others who master other parts of the value chain was also part of the project idea.
What was the project objective?
The overall goal was to stimulate the transformation of 5 industrial regions in Europe into low-carbon clusters by 2025. These five industrial clusters are the North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Grangemouth and Teeside in the United Kingdom and Oltenia in Romania. This was to be achieved through the following sub-goals: Optimize CCUS technology and reduce costs, plan large-scale CO2 transport, ensure adequate and safe offshore storage of CO2, develop different uses of CO2 for energy storage and transformation and create an understanding of the importance of CCUS in the population.
What has the project done in terms of activities?
The goals were as planned realized through experimental work in lab and pilots, through modeling and simulation and other theoretical studies as well as communication with key players and the population otherwise to quickly disseminate the results achieved in the project. The Norwegian project partners participated in conferences and webinars and many of the results are published in international journals. The Norwegian partners were involved in almost every part of the project except the use of CO2 for energy storage.
What has the project achieved? Did the project achieve its objective?
The main purpose of a complete transformation into low-carbon clusters already by 2025 will probably be a bit difficult, but the project is important for further development. For the Norwegian partners, it is Grenland that has been in focus in ALIGN-CCUS and with the establishment of the Longship project and an initiative for the development of a separate central hub to capture CO2 from all emission sources in Grenland, the main goal will probably be realized, but perhaps 2030 is more realistic. With regard to the sub-goals, the following main results have been achieved:
• Rigorous pilot-scale testing of carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology over a record number of hours to address technical challenges
• New standards and solutions for cost-effective, reliable CO2 transport and injection
• A new standard for characterizing geological CO2 storage sites during CCUS development
• Ambitious large-scale demonstration of synthetic fuel production from CO2 in an industrial setting
• Practical guidelines for developing full-chain CCUS for industrial clusters
• The most extensive international research on societal perceptions and impact of CCUS
More information about results can be found on the web pages of the project: http://www.alignccus.eu/our-results.
The work for the Norwegian partners has been very important in many respects and will hopefully get a longer-term impact through near term utilisation of the results. For the research institutes universities from Norway the knowledge gained in dynamic operation and online measurements (WP1) is mostly taken further in follow up projects like LAUNCH (ACT), NCCS and REALISE (H2020) as well as in a new project initiative aimed at being funded by ACT3 (lead by SINTEF). Important lessons learned were in the CO2 transport (WP2). The findings have been further followed up through the CO2LOS II project ending in 2020, and to be taken further in a CO2LOS III project that is under preparation.
The results have also been used as input for an ACT 3 application with TNO as lead. Regarding Storage, the Norwegian partners in ALIGN-CCUS have outlined and discussed possibilities for a large CO2 storage hub in the region around the Northern Lights storage site. This Horda Platform CO2 storage hub could likely serve a significant fraction of the storage needs for Scandinavia and Northern Europe. The concept is already being further developed in ongoing work in NCCS. Acquired knowledge from the ALIGN-CCUS project has already been used in the ACT2 REX-CO2 project and a proposal with wide industry support, recently submitted to the ACT3 call. For the Longship project, the approach taken in ALIGN-CCUS has proven useful when it comes to other initiatives.
As already indicated the cluster, in cooperation with SINTEF, is developing a project application to CLIMIT for how to capture and transport in principle all the CO2 in the region from a common hub. The tool Bellona has developed in ALIGN_CCUS to follow when evaluating individual pathways to deploying CCUS is expected to play an important part in Bellona’s future engagement on developing CCU and CCS projects across Europe. A first instance for application is likely to be the ‘Building momentum for the long-term CCS deployment in the CEE region’ project, financed through the EEA Norway Grants. Also, the research conducted related to social aspects has provided valuable information about the perceived role and necessity for CCUS. As such, it will provide valuable background for the development of the messaging intended for those same stakeholders in the future. For IFE the ALIGN-CCUS findings initiated more testing in the KDC III project and are presently used in the design and construction of a new ECCSEL infrastructure for testing under amongst other, ship transport conditions. For TCM the knowledge and competence gained through ALIGN-CCUS is the cornerstone in their advisory activities. Building on the knowledge gained from the ALIGN project, TCM aims to test different flue gas sources and under operating conditions that are of value for the industry in order to reach their climate goals.