Elkem, global provider of silicon-based advanced materials, has announced that it will test the world’s first carbon capture pilot for silicon smelters at its plant in Rana, Norway. The project has received financial support from Gassnova CLIMIT and is a follow-up to the company’s recently launched climate roadmap to reduce emissions towards net zero while growing supplies to the green transition.
The carbon capture pilot is a collaboration between Elkem and Mo Industripark, SINTEF, Alcoa, Celsa, Ferroglobe, SMA Mineral, Norcem, Norfrakalk, Arctic Cluster Team and Aker Carbon Capture.
The test unit will be installed at Elkem’s plant in Rana, which produces high purity ferrosilicon and Microsilica. In addition, emissions from SMA Mineral will also gradually enter the treatment plant. Aker Carbon Capture delivers the test unit, which is the only one of its kind in Norway.
The project is supported through the CLIMIT-Demo program, by state enterprise Gassnova SF. CLIMIT is Norway’s national programme for research, development and demonstration of CO2 capture and storage technology. The main goal of the project is to verify the technology on real industrial exhaust gases from smelters, in order to prepare a full-scale plant for industrial carbon capture. The program runs over 2 years.
“Elkem aims to be part of the solution to combat climate change – and to be one of the winners in the green transition. Our mission is to provide advanced material solutions shaping a better and more sustainable future. We have recently launched a climate roadmap detailing our ambitions to reduce emissions while growing our supplies to the green transition. Carbon capture is a key technology to reach net zero by 2050,” says Elkem’s CEO, Helge Aasen.
Elkem recently launched a global climate roadmap detailing how the company plans to reduce its total CO2 emissions by 28% from 2020-31 while growing its supplies to the green transition, thereby delivering 39% improvement of its product carbon footprint in the same period.
As a part of this work towards carbon-neutral materials production, Elkem has conducted a feasibility study for the establishment of carbon capture and storage (CCS). The purpose of the study has been to assess the technical and economic feasibility of installing carbon capture at its Norwegian plants in Bjølvefossen, Bremanger, Rana, Salten and Thamshavn.
“The test unit installation at Elkem Rana means that we are now moving one step forward. The work to be done in Rana will also be of great relevance to other plants both in Elkem and for other players in the industry,” says Trond Sæterstad, climate director in Elkem.
Mo Industrial Park will be the project owner and SINTEF will have a leading role in the project management of the program.
“In total the partners have identified 1.5 million tonnes of potential CO2 capture in the region. This corresponds to 3% of Norway’s total emissions, and almost one third of the emissions from the metal industry,” says Jack Ødegård, Vice President Research in SINTEF.
“It is very relevant for CLIMIT to support the world’s first CO2-capture from ferrosilicon and silicon industry. In this project, there are nine international industries collaborating in development of cost-effective CCS solutions. Important research work will be carried out by SINTEF as well. Knowledge from development of the full-scale CCS project Longship is also applicable for this Elkem pilot,” says Ingrid Sørum Melaaen, Gassnovas’ Head of Secretariat CLIMIT.
“The mobile test unit is for all practical purposes a large facility in miniature. It is very exciting that we can now follow up the feasibility study and test that the technology is also suitable for large-scale smelters,” says Jon Christopher Knudsen, Chief Commercial Officer in Aker Carbon Capture
“It is necessary to cut carbon emissions. In addition, this project will create new jobs and ensure the competitiveness of the industry. This is also aligned with Mo Industrial Park’s sustainability strategy and the initiative will add important cutting-edge expertise to the region,” says Jan Gabor, Executive Vice President Property Development in Mo Industrial Park.
The project has a total budget of NOK 23.6 million, of which Gassnova CLIMIT will contribute 13.8 million and the industry will contribute with the remaining amount.