At Arendalsuka, Norwegian CCS Research Centre (NCCS) Director Mona Mølnvik interviewed Hafslund Oslo Celsio’s CCS Director Jannicke Bjerkås about Celsio’s success with securing funding for building the first full-scale CCS facility for waste incineration at their waste-to-energy plant in Klemetsrud, Oslo.
Beforehand, both Mona and Jannicke had participated in a panel debate organised by Celsio, entitled “CCS i medvind – tiltaket som løser den urbane klimafloken”, which focused on how CCS can be used to solve urban climate issues.
Click the video below to watch their interview in Norwegian (subtitles to come) or scroll down to read a transcript of their interview in English.
Mona Mølnvik: Jannicke, congratulations on having passed the starting point of Celsio realising CCS – CO2 capture – at your waste incineration plant at Klemetsrud. Can you tell us a little more about it?
Jannicke Bjerkås: Yes, thank you first of all, and I also need to thank you and SINTEF and everyone who has worked to contribute realising this project… because we really haven’t done it alone. But it really is fantastic that we’ve actually reached the implementation phase. So now we’ve started construction work at Klemetsrud and over the next four, short years, we will build this capture facility for capturing CO2 from the flue gas – i.e. the waste incineration.
MM: Who else is working on this project with you?
JB: In terms of suppliers, we have an agreement with Technip Energies, who have planned and will build the facility itself. And we’re also working with Shell, who are providing the capture technology. It’s an amino-based process, which is a liquid solution that reacts with CO2 in the flue gas when they meet.
MM: Can you talk a bit about how you got here because this work didn’t start yesterday.
JB: No, we’ve been working on this for some years. We started in 2015, when we began to look at what we can do in the long term to reduce emissions from our processes, and we saw that there was going to be an important, strategic change in the industry, focusing on greenhouse emissions. Then we got the opportunity to join the Norwegian government’s work with realising a full value chain for CO2 capture, transport and permanent storage as one of three projects in the capture part.
Since then, we’ve worked to develop this through feasibility studies and conceptual and detailed studies in competition with the two – and eventually only other – capture facilities, which was Norcem’s cement project. And there have been some bumps and turns on the road, but today, with the help of the government, Oslo municipality and the company’s new owners have together contributed to fully financing this capture project. So now, if everything goes to plan, and it will, then Oslo, Celsio and Klemetsrud will have the first full-scale CCS facility for waste incineration.
MM: Can you tell us a bit about what Klemetsrud does, what you supply and what your products are?
JB: We sustainably handle problematic residual waste that we’re not able to recycle or that we don’t want to recycle. In other words, rubbish is generally sorted, but there will always be some left over that we’re not able to reuse and must be removed. We burn that and recover the heat from this combustion for district heating in buildings in Oslo as well as electricity production. And I can also add that today, the smoke from combustion is cleaned very, very thoroughly of all local, environmental pollutants. There are very strict requirements on that.
MM: Heavy metals and such?
JB: Yes, heavy metals, NOx, acid gases, and so on. However, what we currently do not remove from the smoke are CO2 emissions, which have an impact on our climate. And that is the next step in flue gas cleaning, and the next step towards becoming not just carbon neutral but actually carbon negative. Because we also capture biological CO2 or biogenic CO2 from the combustion process.
MM: Approximately how much of the leftover problematic waste is biogenic?
JB: Approximately 50%, so 50% of the CO2 we capture is part of the natural CO2 cycle and not included in any emission statistics. This results in a net-zero effect, and gives us scope to manage and find solutions for the fossil fuel emissions that are difficult to do anything with or that cost a lot to remove.
MM: If you, Oslo municipality and Klemetsrud succeed with capturing as much CO2 as planned, what does that mean for the municipality’s CO2 account?
JB: It is very important for Oslo municipality, and that is also a reason why Oslo is helping to finance this project. The fossil fuel share alone corresponds to emissions from approx. 200,000 cars, so that’s a significant boost, and I think 17% of the city of Oslo’s total emissions. So this will be a very effective and important climate measure for the city to reach its net-zero goal.
MM: What do you think it will take for other cities in Norway and Europe to do the same as you?
JB: I think it’s important that we now come up with a demonstration project that all the following projects can learn from so that they can avoid making the same mistakes, they don’t have to do so many studies, and they get to develop the technology and integration. So that’s one thing, but I also think we have to work on ensuring that there are support schemes for the next projects as well, because climate measures cost money; as of today, there is no money to be made from them. As CO2 emissions become more expensive in the future and the technology is developed to become cheaper, then perhaps we will get there. But that is not the case today. We must ensure that there are funding solutions for the next projects too.
MM: So, to finish, what are you most looking forward to in the next six months of the project?
JB: The next six months will probably be quite a chaotic six months. We have almost run into the implementation phase, but I’m looking forward to seeing something actually begin to happen at Klemetsrud, and the facility start to materialise. It’s very exciting, and it is tangible and visible that we are now underway.
MM: Thank you very much and congratulations and good luck this autumn.
JB: Thank you very much.