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US top official for Fossil Energy visited Norway to strengthen carbon capture cooperation

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World Coal,

Steven Winberg, the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy in the US Department of Energy (DoE) has recently visited the Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) to learn about the new unit for testing emerging carbon capture technologies. The US DoE has long partnered with US companies to test their technologies at TCM in Norway.

TCM is currently the world’s largest plant for the testing of carbon capture technologies. The technology centre has invested more than US$3 million in a new test site that will allow for the testing of new emerging carbon capture technologies. The expansion will be completed in 2020.

The test centre at Mongstad currently consists of two industrial scale facilities with liquid based technologies. The two main technology suppliers for the planned full-scale carbon capture projects in Norway, Norcem Brevik and Fortum Oslo Varme, have tested and developed their technologies at TCM.

The new site allows for the testing of emerging technologies such as membranes or absorbents (solid materials binding with CO2).

Accompanying his US colleague during the TCM visit, State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, said: “TCM has a unique scale and flexibility in terms of ability to simulate real-world conditions for post-combustion capture and to test a multitude of different mature and emerging technologies in a cost-effective manner, so that they are ready for international deployment.”

Strengthens relations to the US

In total, eight US technologies are either already tested or are currently scheduled at TCM. Since 2018, DOE has funded six US companies for testing at TCM. ION Clean Energy and Fluor Corp. have already successfully completed their testing. In addition, Membrane Technology & Research (MTR) and TDA Research have signed agreements to conduct testing at the new site for emerging technologies at TCM in 2020.

In 2004, the governments of Norway and the US signed a bilateral cooperation agreement in the energy sector, which included carbon capture. The US DoE has been working very closely with TCM since the plant started in 2012.

“The IEA has stated carbon capture is an essential piece of any effort to reduce carbon emission significantly and the energy transition. The US and Norway have a long and storied partnership that will only continue to grow” said Winberg.

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