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Carbon Centric signs first BECCS application

Carbon Centric signs first BECCS application
An artist's rendering of the carbon capture plant adjacent to Vardar Varme's Treklyngen bioheat plant (photo courtesy Egil Granum/Viken Skog).

Norwegian carbon capture startup Carbon Centric AS has announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with compatriot regional renewable energy company Vardar Varme AS for the establishment of a carbon capture unit at Vardar Varme's biomass-fired heat plant in Hønefoss.

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Established in 2021 by amongst others municipal energy company Østfold Energi AS, Carbon Centric specializes in developing climate-positive projects with carbon capture from waste- and biomass combustion plants.

In collaboration with technology partners KANFA Group and Slåttland Mekaniske Industriverksted, these modular carbon capture facilities are offered as turnkey systems with a capacity to capture up to 120,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year per module.

The captured CO2 is either sold to industry, which currently uses fossil CO2, or it is routed to players who can store it permanently – carbon capture as a service (CCaS).

First BECCS unit in Norway

According to a statement, Carbon Centric intends to establish a carbon capture unit at Vardar Varme’s biomass-fired heat plant at Treklyngen Industrial Park, just outside Hønefoss. The unit will capture more than 90 percent of the CO2 emissions from the combustion process.

The project will be the first of its kind in Norway and one of the first bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) plants in Europe with a planned start of production in 2026.

The project is unique because it captures CO2 from an already sustainable source. This opens up several possibilities, such as creating certificates for so-called negative emissions. This is a good example of how the district heating sector can remain best in class in terms of climate, said Kenneth Juul, Co-Founder and CCO of Carbon Centric.

From heat to combined heat and power

The 35 MW bioheat plant currently supplies around 50 GWh of district heat to Hønefoss and 3 GWh to Vestfossen annually.

Kenneth Juul, Co-Founder and CCO of Carbon Centric (photo courtesy Carbon Centric).

The facility was originally built as an integral part of Norske Skog Follum’s paper mill, which was closed down in 2013.

Operating on clean recycled woodchips, the multifuel boiler generates high-pressure steam and work is underway to add a steam turbine for combined heat and power (CHP) operations.

Furthermore, with new industrial establishments at Treklyngen Industrial Park, the demand for heat is also expected to increase up to 200 GWh per annum utilizing the facility’s thermal capacity.

The carbon capture unit is being designed on the future expected energy balance at the Treklyngen Industrial Park which in terms of biogenic CO2 emissions would mean 80,000 – 90,000 tonnes a year.

According to Vardar Varme, it will be an important installation for the company as the process for CO2 capture is thermally driven, and will optimize the operation of the CHP plant.

With carbon capture, district heating will have a positive climate effect. It is ground-breaking, said Kjetil Bockmann, General Manager of Vardar Varme.

Attractive business model

For Carbon Centric, the agreement is “proof” that its business model is attractive in the market. The company already has an agreement with Østfold Energi to install a full-scale carbon capture unit at the Rakkestad waste-to-energy (WtE) plant that will be put into operation during 2024/2025.

Carbon Centric will build, own, and operate the carbon capture facility, and a similar model is to be used at Treklyngen.

There are still accessibility and logistical challenges with storage, so while waiting for good solutions it is natural to look at different types of use. The use of CO2 of biogenic origin makes sense because it displaces the fossil CO2 that is currently used in industry, Kenneth Juul said.

Carbon Centric plans to establish the carbon capture facility at Treklyngen during 2026. Juul strongly believes that the waste- and bioenergy industry can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

We make it easy and attractive for the emission points to start with carbon capture so that they can focus on developing their own core business. It is a win-win for all parties, including the climate, ended Kenneth Juul.

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