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Construction of largest post-combustion CCS projects starts in Texas

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World Coal,

NRG Energy and JX Nippon have started construction of the first commercial-scale post-combustion carbon capture retrofit project in the US – the largest such project in the world, according to the DOE, which is supplying part of the funding.

Costing around US $ 1 billion, the Petra Nova project aims to capture 90% – or 1.4 million tpa – of the carbon dioxide produced at the Parish coal-fired power plant in Texas. The captured carbon dioxide will then be used to enhance oil extraction at the West Ranch oilfield, safely storing the carbon underground in the process. NRG Energy and JX Nippon are both stakeholders in the oilfield, which is expected to produce 15,000 bpd more using the captured carbon dioxide.

“With coal expected to remain a significant part of the energy portfolio in the US and internationally, first-of-a-kind projects like Petra Nova will move us toward a low-carbon energy future,” said secretary of energy, Ernest Moniz.

Originally conceived as a 60 MW carbon capture project for which they received US$ 167 million in support from the DOE, NRG expanded the design to capture emissions from 240 MW of generation at the Parish power plant, quadrupling the size of the capture project without additional federal investment and providing the scale of carbon dioxide capture required to make the enhanced oil recovery viable.

The project will use technology co-developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kansai Electric Power that uses a solvent to absorb carbon dioxide from the fluegas. The carbon dioxide is then decoupled from the sorbent, which can be reused. The technology has previously been deployed at a DEO-sponsored pilot-scale test in Alabama, where it successful captured 150,000 tpa of carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power plant. With this capture rate, coal-fired power generation would have a greenhouse gas footprint much lower that that of a traditional gas-powered plant.

NRG is now considering additional projects at other of its coal-fired power plants

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