Full-scale CCS at Preem's Lysekil refinery could cut CO2 emissions by one third
Sweden-headed oil refiner and renewable fuel producer Preem AB, together with Chalmers University of Technology and the Norwegian research institute SINTEF have conducted a preliminary study on how Preem's refinery in Lysekil could use Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a carbon dioxide (CO2) removal technology. The study shows that a full-scale CCS plant at Preem's refinery in Lysekil could reduce CO2 emissions by one third. Now the company is aiming to build a full-scale facility by 2025.
The Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology itself is about separating carbon dioxide (CO2) from the flue gases before these are released into the atmosphere. Already today, Preem’s refineries are around 20 percent more environmentally efficient than the average in Europe.
The introduction of CCS at the hydrogen production plant in Lysekil could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 500 000 tonnes per annum, of the total amount of 1.6 million tonnes.
With the feasibility study we have been able to define the obstacles and possibilities that exist in Preem’s case. One crucial question is how to store carbon dioxide. The technology, knowledge, and facilities are in Norway, and it is best to transport the carbon dioxide there, said Kristin Jordal, Senior Researcher at SINTEF.
To be able to transport carbon dioxide from Sweden to Norway, a bilateral agreement is required between the countries, as the “Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972” updated in 1996 to the “London Convention and Protocol” which regulates dumping at sea.
Norway is spending money on CCS and has preceded it with a good example. We want to take them hand in hand and utilize the infrastructure they are planning to create, said Mattias Backmark, Head of Business Development at Preem.
Deep sea sedimentary bedrock
Since 1996, Norway has captured CO2 from the Sleipner oil platform and stored it under the sea offshore. The Norwegian state is also open to receiving captured CO2 for storage from other countries, including in the offshore area Smeaheia outside Stavanger, where a new storage facility will be ready in 2023.
By CCS technology, the CO2 is predicted to be transported by boat or pipelines to storage sites at least 800 meters below sea level. That is where the pressure is high enough for the CO2 to be kept in liquid form.
The actual storage is done in sedimentary bedrock, such as sandstone or limestone – which is found in large quantities outside Norway’s coast. Sedimentary bedrock is porous and permeable, making it suitable for storing liquid CO2.
The next step for Preem is to carry out a demonstration project in Lysekil to provide a basis for designing a full-scale CCS facility. The study is scheduled to start in 2019 and run until 2021.