DEA awards Ørsted carbon capture and storage contract


Denmark – The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has granted Ørsted a 20-year contract for its carbon capture and storage (CCS) project Ørsted Kalundborg Hub.

As part of the project, Ørsted will install carbon capture at its wood-fired Asnaes Power Station in Kalundborg, western Zealand, and at the Avedøre Power Station’s boiler in the Greater Copenhagen area.

The combined heat and power plants Asnaes and Avedøre will start capturing and storing biogenic carbon in 2025, and by the start of 2026, the two units will be capturing and storing about 430,000 tonnes of biogenic CO2 annually. The project’s completion will mark the beginning of the construction of a significant CO2 infrastructure throughout Denmark, since the Asnaes Power Station will act as a hub for the collection and transportation of both Ørsted’s own biogenic CO2 and, possibly, CO2 from other emitters.

Northern Lights storage

Aker Carbon Capture, the pioneer in carbon capture technology in Norway and creator of a field-tested and exclusive carbon capture system, has partnered with Ørsted. Aker Carbon Capture will deliver five Just Catch units to the CHP facilities as the carbon capture provider. The modular and adaptable Just CatchTM standardized approach enables effective carbon capture unit production and deployment.

The combined heat and power plants at Asnaes and Avedøre will transport the 430,000 tonnes of biogenic CO2 to the Northern Lights storage reservoir in the Norwegian portion of the North Sea. Northern Lights, who is building a CO2 transport and storage system, and Ørsted have signed a contract. The Northern Lights project’s first phase, which will be finished in 2024, is the most developed carbon storage facility in the North Sea.

Since biogenic carbon from sustainable biomass is a natural component of a biogenic carbon cycle, it is conceivable to remove CO2 from the environment by capturing it from biomass-fired combined heat and power plants and burying it underground. You thereby produce negative emissions.

Removing carbon

Ørsted, Aker Carbon Capture, and Microsoft inked a contract in March 2021 to, among other things, advance the process of getting a commercial and technological setup that combines carbon capture and renewable energy production using biomass-fired combined heat and power plants to the point of real operation.

Microsoft has agreed to purchase 2.76 million tonnes of high-quality, long-lasting carbon removal from the Asnaes’s Power Station over an 11-year period as direct support for this new initiative. By volume, this arrangement is one of the biggest carbon removal offtake agreements ever.

The deal between Microsoft and Ørsted serves as another illustration of the economic benefits of carbon capture and removal. Given the infancy of bioenergy-based CCS, Microsoft’s contract and Danish government subsidies were both essential to the success of this project.

With tight cooperation between offtakers, operators, technology suppliers, and policymakers, decarbonized solutions may grow and expand, as shown by this partnership. CCS may transition from depending on subsidies to functioning on market terms by developing a commercial structure of negative emissions that offers transparency and reduces the cost and time to market for carbon offsets. This is comparable to how other renewable energy sources, like solar PV and wind energy, are being developed.

Excess heat

District heating will be delivered to Kalundborg and the Greater Copenhagen area thanks to the heat-integrated carbon capture process and the combined heat and power plants.

Both the carbon capture process at Avedøre Power Station’s straw-fired boiler and the carbon capture process at Asnaes Power Station have the potential to regenerate roughly 35 MW and 50 MW of surplus heat, respectively, which is equivalent to the annual district heating consumption of approximately 11,000 and 20,000 Danish households.

When the contract has been signed by Ørsted and the DEA, the tender process is totally finished. The signing is anticipated to happen soon when the required standstill period is ended. Rsted anticipates that work on the carbon capture units of the combined heat and power plants in Asns and Avedre will start in June 2023.