CCS – Significant opportunities for Finland and Finnish stakeholders

The development of CCS technology faces many challenges. CO2 capture pro-cesses are currently very energy intensive and development is needed to bring costs down. Also, CO2 needs to be transported to a suitable storage site for se-cure and permanent storage. Although CCS technology has not yet been im-plemented at a full-scale power plant, several demonstration projects are un-derway in the world. According to GCCSI (2012), eight projects are in operation, storing 23 Mt CO2 per year, mostly in conjunction with enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

CCS offers significant opportunities to early implementation in Finland. Being a large consumer of power and heat, Finland has a unique opportunity in inte-grating CCS with combined heat and power (CHP) plants. As Finland is a large consumer of biomass, adding CCS to bioenergy solutions (bio-CCS) would enable removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. CCS is the only technology that can significantly reduce CO2 emissions – typically by 90% – not only from power plants but carbon intensive industry as well, such as oil refining and steel manu-facturing. Finding CCS solutions for heavy industry is therefore important for reducing CO2 emissions from the Finnish industry.

For the Finnish technology developers and providers CCS could provide a significant market share in the future. Chemical looping combustion (CLC) is a new CCS technology that benefits from Finnish expertise in fluidized bed boiler. Monitoring technologies is another Finnish expertise that can help making CCS a safe and secure emission reduction and improve the social acceptance of CCS.

Mapping the geological storage potential in areas close to Finland is im-portant, as the Finnish bedrock does not have any formations suitable for under-ground storage of CO2. However, Finland has also large reserves of minerals that could be used for converting CO2 into inert carbonate minerals. Also, CO2 can be used as a feedstock for producing chemicals and fuels. CCSP is already bringing these technologies closer to commercialisation, with the laboratory pilot at Aalto University for converting CO2 and steelmaking slag into pure calcium carbonate being a prime example of this.