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Elkem to study carbon-capture opportunities at Norwegian manufacturing plants

| By Mary Bailey

With a long term-goal to achieve carbon-neutral metal production, Elkem (Oslo, Norway) is currently conducting a feasibility study for the establishment of carbon capture and storage (CCS). The purpose of the study is to assess the technical and economic feasibility of installing carbon capture at its Norwegian plants in Bjølvefossen, Bremanger, Rana, Salten and Thamshavn. The project has received financial support from Gassnova, the Norwegian state enterprise to further develop technologies, through the CLIMIT program. The findings from the study will be transferred to Elkem’s plants outside Norway, including Elkem’s ferrosilicon plant on Iceland.

In connection with the study, Elkem has signed agreements with Aker Carbon Capture (Lysaker, Norway) and Saipem S.p.A. (San Donato Milanese, Italy). Together with these partners, Elkem will evaluate and study the different technological designs and solutions of a capture facility, facilities for liquefaction and upload of CO2 to transport ships from the Northern Lights project.

“Elkem is among the global leaders in the environmentally responsible manufacture of advanced materials. For us, it is important to continuously investigate all opportunities for further reducing our emissions. We have already come a long way with our biocarbon strategy, having achieved 20 percent reduction of direct fossil CO2 emissions from our Norwegian smelters using biocarbon. By combining our biocarbon strategy with carbon capture, high energy efficiency at the facilities and other environmental efforts, we have the opportunity to take significant steps forward,” says Trond Sæterstad, climate director at Elkem.

The carbon capture study will be completed in the second quarter 2021.

The independent Norwegian research organisation SINTEF and Norwegian consultancy corporation Norsk Energi will contribute as competence partners.

“CO2 Solutions by Saipem is an enzymatic carbon capture technology that brings unique environmental and operational benefits. The technology provides a disruptive alternative to conventional CO2 capture solutions and is part of our expanded green products portfolio. Saipem’s peer-recognized technical and execution expertise is 100% behind this technology.  We are keen to cooperate with Elkem and present our bio-catalyzed technology to the benefit of carbon-neutral metal production and are looking forward to the next phases of the project,” says Maurizio Coratella, Chief Operation Officer of Saipem Onshore E&C Division.

“Our HSE-friendly solutions have been proven at industrial sites across Europe since we delivered the Technology Center Mongstad back in 2012. By applying Aker Carbon Capture’s proven and HSE-friendly solutions, companies like Elkem are able to reduce CO2 emissions without introducing new hazardous emissions on site,” says Vallborg Lundegaard, chief executive officer of Aker Carbon Capture.

In addition to the opportunities within carbon capture and storage, Elkem is also studying alternatives for carbon capture and utilization, to combine storage and utilization in the future.

Elkem is also a part of CO2 Hub Nordland, a project gathering the process industry in Nordland, Norway with a goal to capture more than 1,2 million tons of CO2 annually. The CO2 hub Nordland project is supported by Gassnova.