“Most of the major full-scale projects globally - including the Canadian projects Boundary Dam and Quest - have visited the facility to gain knowledge from TCM’s learning so far, including in the areas of planning (environmental or otherwise), material selection, commissioning work and operations. TCM is unique in its openness around lessons learned and, as such, can help to provide significant savings by preventing the same mistakes being duplicated elsewhere,” said Head of Communications Vegar Stokset.
So far, we have had over 5,000 visitors at Mongstad and everyone is struck by how large, advanced, flexible and unique test our facilities are for carbon capture technology development, and how much has been achieved to date. As a result, companies want to test their technologies here, leading universities and research institutions are seeking collaboration, and governments are keen to share knowledge. Through these activities, we are actively contributing to global commercialisation of carbon capture.
Furthermore, we have also formalised our knowledge sharing in a Test Centre Network which incorporates the major companies around the world engaged in CCS development.
In addition to the members of the Test Centre Network, major technology vendors at TCM also confirm our importance to their activities. At the recent Parliamentary hearing, both Aker and Alstom confirmed the great value TCM has had in the qualification of their respective technologies. Aker said that TCM was a much needed step on the way to developing their full-scale project; that they had tested out construction methods, material selection, integration and flexibility at the facility; and that so far they have taken out nine patents as a result of the testing at TCM. Alstom also said that their ammonia-based technology would not have been ready for full-scale application without coming to develop the technology at TCM.
“It goes without saying that these big commercial companies would not have spent so much time and money to test at TCM if it wasn't of great value to them”, added Stokset.
In addition to the vendor specific results, TCM has also acquired a lot of knowledge while testing which can be shared openly with the CCS community and the world at large which ranges broadly from learning around material selection, studies around use of amines, planning and construction, to key information on startup, shutdown and operation practices .
We are also working now with a dedicated test campaign which will create a new benchmark for the amine industry, namely testing the standard amine MEA (monoethanolamine). Such test results are usually not published, but our results will be disseminated widely, so that others can use that knowledge in building their own amine plants. The results here will be throughout the year in the form of scientific articles and be presented at major conferences.
TCM is also working closely with some of the world's top universities and research institutes in the field of CCS. Whilst the research, development and testing of new technologies is not something that happens overnight, through a series of small advances and setbacks, testing and re-testing we can learn from the mistakes made along the way and arrive at the best solutions for the future.
Going forward, TCM would like to maximise the utilisation of the complex and unique infrastructure for testing at the facility. We have received a number of applications from vendors both for use of existing capture facilities and for testing in new smaller units that can be installed on the available site at TCM. We are also in talks with several exciting companies both in terms of reuse of the amine plant.
Given the broad potential for testing at the facility, TCM is also uniquely positioned to develop next-generation capture technologies, with even greater potential for energy efficiency and cost savings, and thus to be applied worldwide.