Ørsted selected for Denmark's first full-scale carbon capture and storage project

Ørsted selected for Denmark’s full-scale carbon capture and storage project

The Danish Energy Agency has awarded Ørsted Bioenergy & Thermal Power with a 20-year contract for Denmark’s first full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, set to capture and store 430,000 tonnes of CO2 per year from 2026.

The Ørsted Kalundborg Hub project will see Ørsted establish carbon capture at its wood chip-fired Asnæs Power Station in Kalundborg in western Zealand and at the Avedøre Power Station’s straw-fired boiler in the Greater Copenhagen area.

150,000 tonnes of biogenic CO2 per year will be captured from the straw-fired unit at Avedøre Power Station. The CO2 will initially be transported by lorry to Asnæs Power Station until a shared pipeline infrastructure across Zealand is established.

Ørsted will capture 280,000 tonnes of biogenic CO2 per year from the wood chip-fired unit at Asnæs Power Station, which will also function as a CO2 hub, handling and shipping biogenic carbon from both the Avedøre and Asnæs combined heat and power stations to the Northern Lights storage reservoir in the Norwegian part of the North Sea.

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The Asnæs Power Station will potentially also be used for shipping CO2 produced by other emitters.

“We’re incredibly pleased with the outcome of the tender process, and we look forward to initiating the work of establishing a carbon capture facility at two of our combined heat and power plants running on sustainable straw and wood chips,” said Ole Thomsen, Senior Vice President and Head of Ørsted’s Bioenergy business.

“According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), capture and storage of biogenic CO2 is one of the tools we must use to fight climate change, and our CCS project will contribute significantly to realising the politically decided Danish climate targets for 2025 and 2030.”

During 2025, the Asnæs and Avedøre combined heat and power plants will begin to capture and store biogenic carbon, and starting from 2026, the two units are set to capture and store approximately 430,000 tonnes of biogenic CO2 every year.

Norway’s Aker Carbon Capture will deliver five Just Catch units to the CHP plants, additional equipment such as liquefaction systems, and temporary CO2 storage and on-/offloading facilities.

In direct support of the project, Microsoft has agreed to purchase 2.76 million tonnes of high-quality, durable carbon removal over 11 years from the capture and storage of biogenic carbon from the Asnæs Power Station. This represents one of the world’s largest carbon removal offtake agreements by volume, to date.

To remind, besides Ørsted, I/S Vestforbrænding and Aalborg Portland were pre-qualified to participate in the tender, and all three submitted indicative offers and participated in negotiations with the Danish Energy Agency.

“It is extremely gratifying that we have now reached a point where we are ready to sign a contract with Ørsted. They must now set about establishing the capture, transport and storage of CO2 on a full scale. It is the first time this has happened in Denmark, and it is huge,” said Deputy Director of the Danish Energy Agency Mogens Hagelskær.

“It is fantastic that three very different actors have participated in the tender, and we appreciate the enormous effort the companies have put into preparing their offers. All the offers have been innovative in their solutions and with a focus on speed.”

With the decision on awarding, a ten-day standstill period starts, after which the Danish Energy Agency and Ørsted will sign the contract on the condition that no complaints are received during the period.

Ørsted plans to begin the construction of carbon capture units at Asnæs and Avedøre combined heat and power stations this June.

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The Danish Energy Agency granted the first-ever permit for a CO2 storage project in Denmark at the end of 2022 to INEOS E&P and Wintershall Dea for the Greensand Pilot Injection Project. In February, the partners received the first full-scale CO2 storage permit for the Danish North Sea.

On 8 March, INEOS and Wintershall Dea marked a major milestone and a world first with the first-ever injection of CO2 in the North Sea as part of Project Greensand.