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EU in the starting box with green fossil energy

On Tuesday March 7, the starter’s pistol goes off in Oslo for EU’s efforts to generate fossil-based electricity and hydrogen incorporating CO2 treatment. SINTEF has been given responsibility for coordinating the first phase of the project. In this launch phase, which has been given the name of Dynamis, scientists and industrialists from 11 European nations will evaluate, among other aspects, where this unique plant should be built, and which technology should be utilised.

The EU Commission is ready to use billions of kroner to build Europe’s first large-scale thermal electricity-generating utility with CO2 treatment.

Running on fossil fuel, the new plant will supply not only electricity but also hydrogen, which will be made available for use by various sectors of society. The power station and the hydrogen plant will function as a joint European demonstration facility.

In Norway?
“It is by no means impossible that the EU will decide on Norway as the site of the plant, since the Norwegian authorities have indicated their willingness to provide financial support for this type of project,” says Nils A. Røkke, a senior scientist at SINTEF and Dynamis project manager.

Five Norwegian companies and institutions are taking part in the Dynamis project. Apart from SINTEF, which is the lead institution, the members include Statoil, Hydro, the Store Norske Group and NTNU. Twenty-eight European companies and institutions make up the total membership of the project.

Dynamis has a total budget of about NOK 60 million, of which MNOK 11.5 will go to SINTEF and MNOK 2.4 to NTNU.

Total budget: 1300 million euros
The European demonstration facility will be ready for operation by around 2012 –  2015. It will have a generating capacity of 250 MW, which will make it more than half as large as the gas-fired power station currently being planned for Kårstø in south-western Norway.

The project that will end up with the new plant has been given the name of Hypogen, and has a total budget of 1300 million euros, or almost NOK 10.5 billion. The EU will contribute part of this sum. Though just how much has still to be decided.

Decision-making data for the EU
The start-up meeting for Dynamis held in Oslo on Tuesday March 7 marks the first stage of the Hypogen project. In the course of the three-year Dynamis project the participants will prepare the material that the EU Commission will utilise to make its choice of location and technology. Dynamis will produce a list of potential choices and solutions.

The few aspects that are certain today are that the facility will be located somewhere in Europe, that it will use goal or gas as fuel, that it will generate both electricity and hydrogen, and that the CO2 that it produces will be captured and stored in secure deposits.

By Svein Tønseth