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BECCS @ STHLM signs EU Innovation Fund agreement

BECCS @ STHLM signs EU Innovation Fund agreement
Anders Egelrud (left), CEO of Stockholm Exergi, and Patrik Kolar, Head of Department Green Research and Innovation, European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) during the virtual signing ceremony (photo courtesy Stockholm Exergy).

In Sweden, energy utility Stockholm Exergi has now officially received support from the European Union (EU), as one of seven innovative projects selected by the EU Innovation Fund. The BECCS @ STHLM project will receive up to EUR 180 million in support to deploy large-scale bioenergy with carbon capture and storage technology.

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Stockholm Exergi plans to build Europe’s first large-scale facility for negative emissions. It is already known that the EU Innovation Fund supports the project and now it is clear that the EU’s support for Stockholm Exergi will amount to EUR 180 million.

Stockholm Exergi’s large-scale bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology will, if fully realized, capture 800 000 tonnes per annum of biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2).

The facility will contribute to Sweden’s and also Swedish and international companies’ goal of achieving net-zero emissions.

The only BECCS project to gain support

The EU Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programs for demonstrating innovative technologies that help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The goal of the fund is to bring industrial solutions to the market in 2020-2030 to reduce CO2 emissions in Europe and support its transition to climate neutrality.

In the first round, a total of 311 European projects with innovative technology that contribute in various ways to combating climate change applied for funding. Of these, seven projects were selected by the EU Innovation Fund to share the EUR 1.1 billion allocated in this round.

However, Stockholm Exergi’s BECCS @ STHLM project to establish a large-scale plant for the separation and permanent storage of biogenic CO2 is the only one of the seven projects with BECCS technology.

Pilot plant verifies high efficiency

The carbon capture plant is to be built as an addition to Stockholm Exergi’s existing biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) in Hjorthagen in Stockholm.

With the company’s research facility, which has been in operation since 2019, Stockholm Exergi has been able to demonstrate the project’s innovation height with very high energy efficiency and sustainability.

Experience shows an ability to capture close to 90 percent of the biogenic CO2 while maintaining high energy efficiency thanks to extensive heat recovery to Stockholm’s district heating network.

The support from the EU Innovation Fund is very important to us. This means that we can keep up the pace in our schedule for the establishment of the full-scale facility. The support also means a clear recognition of the project, a recognition that is not least important in our work to be a catalyst for establishing a voluntary market for negative emissions, said Anders Egelrud, CEO of Stockholm Exergi.

Need to secure final financing

In order to secure financing for the BECCS facility, Stockholm Exergi estimates that there will be a need for three sources of finance, of which grant support from the EU Innovation Fund is one.

The other two are the Swedish state support through a so-called reverse auction that is planned to be determined in 2022 as well as income from the sale of so-called Carbon Removal Certificates (CRC) on a voluntary market for negative emissions.

To ensure the entire value chain, agreements need to be reached regarding the transport and permanent storage of the captured CO2.

These negotiations are ongoing and will be an important part of the work of preparing for the project’s investment decision, which is planned for 2023.

We work intensively with the financing of the project and have several dialogues underway with companies that are interested in buying CRC, to neutralize their remaining emissions and become “net-zero”. Our goal is to be able to enter into agreements with potential buyers in good time before our final investment decision, ended Anders Egelrud.

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