Dr Andy Read
In Andy’s current role, he is one of four directors responsible for the ROAD Project – a 250 MW CCS demonstration in Rotterdam. For the last five years, Andy has focused on CCS project development, leading projects at Killingholme and Kingsnorth in the UK, and now as Capture Director for the E.ON / GDF SUEZ joint venture at Maasvlakte, Netherlands (ROAD Project). He has previously worked on several new build projects, most notably the early development of the 1 275 MW Grain CHP plant.
© iStock/michal kodym
ROAD is the Rotterdam Opslag en Afvang Demonstratieproject (Rotterdam Capture and Storage Demonstration Project) and is one of the largest, integrated Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) demonstration projects in the world. ROAD is being developed by Maasvlakte CCS Project C.V., a joint venture of E.ON Benelux and ENGIE Energie Nederland (known as GDF SUEZ Energie Nederland N.V. prior to April 2015). ROAD aims to capture CO2 from the flue gases of Maasvlakte Power Plant 3 (MPP3) using post combustion capture technology. The captured CO2 will be transported through a pipeline and injected into a depleted gas field under the North Sea.
The main objective of ROAD is to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of a large-scale, integrated CCS chain deployed on power generation. To date, post-combustion CCS has been applied to a 110 MWe facility in Canada in the power industry. Further large-scale demonstration projects are needed to show that CCS is an efficient and effective CO₂ abatement technology.
With the knowledge, experience and innovations gained by projects like ROAD, CCS could be deployed on a larger and broader scale: not only on power plants, but also within energy intensive industries. CCS is one of the transition technologies expected to make a substantial contribution to achieving climate objectives. It should play a pivotal role in all credible scenarios towards a decarbonised energy supply.
The ROAD project is co-financed by the European Commission (EC) within the framework of the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) and the Government of the Netherlands. The grants amount to EUR 180 million from the EC and EUR 150 million from the government of the Netherlands. In addition, the Global CCS Institute is a knowledge sharing partner of ROAD and has given financial support of AUD$ 6.2 million (EUR 4.1 million) to the project.
Integrated CCS Chain
ROAD applies post combustion technology to capture the CO₂ from the flue gases of a new 1,069 MWe coal-fired power plant (Maasvlakte Power Plant 3, “MPP3”) in the port and industrial area of Rotterdam. The capture unit has a capacity of 250 MWe equivalent. During the demonstration phase of the project, approximately 1.1 megatons of CO₂ per year will be captured from MPP3. The capture installation is planned to be operational in 2019 – three years after the Financial Investment Decision, which has now been rescheduled to Q1/Q2 of 2016.
From the capture unit the CO₂ will be compressed and transported through a pipeline: 5 kilometres over land and about 20 kilometres across the seabed to the P18-A platform in the North Sea. The pipeline has a transport capacity of around 5 million tonnes per year. It is designed for a maximum pressure of 140 bar and a maximum temperature of 80 °C.
ROAD plans to store the captured CO₂ in depleted gas reservoirs under the North Sea. These gas reservoirs are located in block P18 of the Dutch continental shelf, approximately 20 kilometres off the coast. The depleted gas reservoirs (P18-2; P18-4; P18-6) are at a depth of around 3,500 meters under the seabed of the North Sea. In the first phase CO₂ will be injected into depleted gas reservoir P18-4. The estimated storage capacity of reservoir P18-4 is approximately 8 million tonnes.
CCS Demonstration and Knowledge Sharing
ROAD is a CCS demonstration project intended to facilitate the generation and dissemination of new technical, legal, economic, organisational and societal knowledge and experience. ROAD will share this knowledge and experience through the European CCS Demonstration Project Network with governments, companies and knowledge institutions. Furthermore, ROAD has drafted a series of reports for the Global CCS Institute and delivered a large number of presentations and articles for various conferences and publications. In this way, ROAD can make a significant contribution to the commercial introduction of CCS and ultimately to the worldwide reduction of CO₂ emissions.
Project Status Quo
Since the first half of 2012, the ROAD project has been slowed down because of the financial gap caused by structural low carbon prices (EU ETS). Although the project had already made substantial progress and reached several essential milestones (e.g. engineering, permitting, contracting) no Financial Investment Decision (FID) was taken due to a lack of sufficient funding.
Consequently, ROAD decided to review its position, after consulting the EC and in close co-ordination with other key stakeholders. The objective of this review was to find alternative funding sources, improve the project economics and to explore a phased project approach.
This review has resulted in a number of alternative project scenarios. Currently, ROAD is focusing on a scenario that includes an alternative storage location and CO2 utilisation, and is assessing its feasibility. It is expected that ROAD will finalise these feasibility studies within the coming months.