KNCC says its LCO2-EP technology is proven and ready for commercialization

Knutsen NYK Carbon Carriers AS (KNCC), a joint venture established last year between Japanese shipping major NYK and Norway’s Knutsen Group to transport liquid CO2, revealed that its LCO2-EP technology to store and transport liquefied CO2 at ambient temperature tested and proved at the test-rig facility through the CLIMIT Program.

LCO2 carrier equipped with a LCO2 EP tank system. Image by KNCC

CLIMIT is a Norway-based funding organization that supports the development and demonstration of CCS technologies.

Under the project, supported by NOK 4.69 million ($437K) from CLIMIT, the LCO2-EP tank design was tested on an experimental scale at ResQ’s Safety and Emergency Response Centre close to the city of Haugesund. The technology has been examined in connection with both conversions and new constructions, CLIMIT said.

The test rig consists of two containers representing two independent CO2 tanks, each containing four pipe sections. The containers replicate a ship installation in scale design. The test program and procedures were developed with the operational needs of a CO2 cargo ship in mind.

It followed the usual process of preparing a ship’s cargo system for receiving, loading, unloading CO2 and finally preparing for scheduled maintenance.

The project was a collaborative effort between KNCC, Equinor, Horizon Energy, CapeOmega, and DNV classification society, which has already awarded the solution with the Approval in Principle (AiP).

CLIMIT said that new ways of organizing and implementing CO2 transport are possible and that this project has shown that:

  • The start-up, gassing and pressurization of the CO2 was successfully carried out according to the procedures.
  • New knowledge about heat transfer between CO2 phases and contact with steel provided important insights for further design and operation, including leak management.
  • Minor leaks are easily detected and can be dealt with. Minimal cooling was observed during LCO2 recovery when tank pressure was maintained.

KNCC said that it has applied for LCO2-EP technology patent and that the solution is now ready for commercial deployment.

“Our test rig confirms that CO2 transport at elevated pressure (34 to 45 bar) is ready for deployment,” says Per Lothe, Special Technical Advisor Technology at Knutsen NYK Carbon Carrier. 

“Having access to a rig with CO2, where we can test equipment and observe adverse events, gives us confidence that the final transport of CO2 is safe.”

The next phase of the project will be to test new CO2 equipment, in KNCC’s case corrosion monitoring technology, and to investigate how impurities in the CO2 can affect the technology.

The company has ambitions to become a major CO2 transporter in the future. Therefore, having a test rig for verification and crew training is very important in this context.

To remind, in June 2023 Knutsen NYK Carbon Carriers AS teamed up with Pilot Energy Limited, an Australian oil and gas company that is pursuing leveraging its existing infrastructure to develop clean energy projects, to collaborate on an integrated solution for marine transportation and offshore injection of CO2.

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