This is an important day for Technology Centre Mongstad and for Norway, but also for the international work on Carbon Capture and Storage – CCS.
As we open Technology Centre Mongstad – TCM – we reach an important milestone in our efforts on CCS.
This will not only be a large demonstration plant, but also the first of its kind to test two different types of capture technologies from two different sources of CO2, side-by-side.
The knowledge we gain here at Mongstad will help prepare the ground for future CO2 capture initiatives and thereby combat climate change.
The world is facing a situation where energy demand will increase, as the population grow and more people are lifted out of poverty. At the same time, we face the challenge of climate change. Together, these are among the major challenges of our time. They are closely interlinked: We cannot solve one and ignore the other. They must be addressed in context.
Substantial changes are required if we are to limit global warming to below two degrees by 2050. Even with the most ambitious scenarios for energy efficiency and renewables, the world will need fossil energy for the foreseeable future. This is why CCS is so important. And I believe a global agreement that puts a price on carbon is vital in order to realise the ambitious goals we have set for CCS.
According to the IEA, the technology could deliver up to 20 per cent of the necessary emission reductions by 2050. Demonstration plants are absolutely necessary if we are to develop CCS technology further.
We have many challenges ahead of us, but I believe that we are in a good position to move our CCS work further. We are strongly committed to our work on CCS, and we are in it for the long run. We also have important experience to build upon.
I think it is important to remember that CCS it not a pipe dream. It is taking place today, and has been doing so for more than 15 years.
Many of you are familiar with the Norwegian CCS project on the Sleipner Vest field in the North Sea. Since 1996, one million tonnes of CO2 per year have been separated from the gas production at Sleipner.
The CO2 has been stored in the Utsira formation, a geological formation 1000 metres below the seabed. The Sleipner experience shows that CO2 can be stored in geological reservoirs in the same way as oil and gas have been stored for millions of years. In other words, CCS works!
Sleipner is not the only CCS project in Norway, another example is the CCS project at the Snøhvit field in northern Norway.
It is important to develop further technologies for capture, in addition to transport and storage. With Technology Centre Mongstad, we take our CCS efforts one step further. TCM will test so-called “post combustion” capture technologies. This is being done by constructing a large capture plant literally in the exhaust stream from the power plant.
I am truly proud that we have reached this milestone, and have high expectations for the work ahead.
TCM is a joint venture between Statoil, Shell, Sasol and Gassnova – the latter representing the Norwegian state. I would like to congratulate all involved, including Alstom and Aker – the technology providers. A lot of work has been done to come this far. Now, the real work starts!
Thank you for your attention!