‘World first’ carbon capture plant for smelters opens in Norway

A carbon capture pilot for smelters – billed as a ‘world first’ – has been officially inaugurated in Rana, Norway.

The Mobile Test Unit (MTU), delivered by Aker Carbon Capture, is now connected to Elkem’s plant, which produces high-purity ferrosilicon and microsilica.

The testing is a collaboration between Elkem, Mo Industripark, SMA Mineral , SINTEF, Alcoa, Celsa Group, Ferroglobe PLC, Norcem AS, NorFraKalk AS, ACT Cluster and Aker Carbon Capture.

With full-scale implementation, 1.5m tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be captured from their combined emissions. In a couple of months, testing will commence at SMA Mineral.

Amund Vik, Deputy Minister from the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, said there is no doubt that we need carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) to reach our climate targets.

He said, “We need CCS in hard-to-abate industries to keep industrial jobs in Europe. This pilot will provide important learning related to CO2-capture in metal industries, and will be an important hub for other companies in the Industrial Park to test CO2-capture technology.”

The MTU, built in 2008, has been upgraded in accordance with our latest technology developments.

Valborg Lundegaard, CEO at Aker Carbon Capture, said testing it technology onsite de-risks the project prior to a possible full-scale implementation.

Elkem’s CEO Helge Aasen said the world needs more metals and other materials to succeed with the green transition, but also to achieve lower global CO2 emissions.

He said, “Carbon capture can potentially contribute significantly towards our global climate roadmap of reducing emissions towards Net Zero while growing supplies to the green transition. At the same time, Elkem is dependent on our stakeholders to enable green technologies at an industrial scale.”

Its Rana plant, established in 1989, has around 140 employees and produces speciality ferrosilicon products and microsilica based on renewable hydropower.

The pilot test is part of a larger R&D project, CO2 HUB Nord, which runs over two years and is funded by Climit Demo. The main goal of the project is to verify the technology on real industrial gases from smelters and other process industries, in order to prepare a full-scale plant for industrial carbon capture.

Through development and verification of new technology for carbon capture, the CO2-HUB Nord accelerates innovation and industrialisation of the CCUS value chain.

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