Executive summary

The Getica CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) Demo Project aims to demonstrate the application of large-scale integrated CCS to an existing coal-fired power plant in Romania’s South West Development Region. The Project’s planned start-up date is December 2015.

The Project is officially sustained by the Prime Minister of Romania, coordinated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and the Business Environment (METBE) and supported by the Global CCS Institute. It will be implemented by a new Project Company, in which the initial shareholders will be three existing State-owned companies; CE Oltenia SA, SNTGN Transgaz SA and SNGN Romgaz SA.

The Feasibility Study for the CCS chain (capture, transport, storage) was performed by a consortium comprising the Institute for Studies and Power Engineering (ISPE) – Romania (with support from INTETECH Consultancy – UK), Alstom Carbon Capture – Germany, GeoEcoMar – Romania, and Schlumberger Carbon Services – France.

The key findings from the Feasibility Study are presented below.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) Capture

The CO2 Capture Plant (CCP) will be retrofitted to the 330 MW Unit No. 6 of the existing six units in the Turceni power plant. Unit No. 6 is fuelled by local lignite equipped with wet flue gas desulphurisation (WFGD) and a dense slurry installation for ash and slag discharge. The CCP will treat a flue gas stream equivalent to 250 MWe of net electrical output, with a minimum targeted CO2 capture rate of 85% from the flue gas stream. Around 1.3 Mtpa CO2 will be captured by the CCP, resulting in a reduction of net power output of approximately 30% (275 MW reduced to 193 MW).

Since the Getica CCS demo project is planned for operation by the end of 2015, the technology selection was limited to the Chilled Ammonia Process (CAP) and the Advanced Amine Process (AAP), given their likely commercial availability at a scale applicable to this project. Based on various criteria, CAP was chosen as the post-combustion capture (PCC) technology for Getica.

Key benefits of applying the CAP technology include:

  • the existing electrostatic precipitator (EP) and WFGD are sufficient to enable CO2 capture;
  • the stability of the ammonium solution is not affected by oxygen or acidic trace components present in the flue gases;
  • the environmental impacts are relatively small, given there are no degradation products, and no complex chemical compounds;
  • the opportunity to utilise existing infrastructure associated with pre-existing use of ammonia at the plant;
  • availability and cost effectiveness of ammonia supply; and
  • lower operating costs compared to AAP with potential economic benefit from the liquid ammonium sulphates by-product.

CO2 Pipeline

The Feasibility Study evaluated two storage options (Zone 5 and Zone 1), with two corresponding CO2 transport pipeline routes. The CO2 will be transported through a new onshore, underground pipeline with a nominal diameter of 350 mm (14 inch). The distance from the CCP to either of the two storage options is approximately 40 km. The CO2 will be transported in dense phase, as this has been determined to be the most cost effective solution for long distance transportation. The pipeline design pressure-temperature envelope is: 0-140 bar and 0-50ºC. The pipeline operating range is 80-120 bar and 0-40ºC.

Key considerations for the pipeline routing include the terrain features, the population density in the area, the archaeological sites in the vicinity and environmental impacts.

CO2 Storage

The selection of possible storage sites was made within a 50 km radius of the Turceni power plant (the emission source), within the Getic Depression. Sites were assessed based on key selection criteria; properties of the reservoir rocks (e.g. porosities and permeabilities), reservoir depth, and the existence of a suitable seal formation above the reservoirs.

Following preliminary selection of seven sites, a more detailed analysis of the data found that the most (potentially) suitable storage sites are Zone 5 and Zone 1 (both deep saline aquifers).

Storage characterisation will be completed and finalised during the Appraisal (Phase 2) of the project. The key objectives of the Appraisal phase are to fill the gap in knowledge identified during the performance and risk assessment work and to complete the site characterisation for the selection of a single site to be further developed. The Appraisal strategy is based on the assumption that Zone 5 is more promising as a CO2 storage site than Zone 1.

CCS Costs and Financing

The total estimated capital cost for the Getica CCS Demo Project has been determined in the Feasibility Study, with an accuracy of ±20%. The breakdown of these investment costs is presented in Table ES-1.

Table ES-1 Investment costs

Component Weight of total estimated cost(%)
Capture(compression component is 2.5% of total Capture cost) 60
Transport 4
Storage 14
Owner’s costs 2
Development costs 19
Public awareness, communication and knowledge sharing 1
TOTAL 100

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The operating costs, based on the Feasibility Study, are presented in Table ES-2.

Table ES-2 Operating costs

Component Weight in annual OPEX(%)
Capture 90
Transport 2
Storage 8
TOTAL 100

Wherever possible, the investment costs for the Getica CCS Demo Project will be covered by direct funding (grants). Direct funding opportunities exist given the demonstrative nature of the project and the European Union’s objective of advancing CCS toward commercial operation.

A detailed investigation of the possible financing sources at European level was undertaken, in order to assess which best fits the Project needs, in terms of time compatibility and level of funding. Further details on funding can be found in the Financial Scenarios Report for the Getica CCS Demo Project.

Project Risks

An initial risk assessment was performed during the Feasibility Study stage for the Getica CCS Demo Project. A preliminary risk register and risk matrix were developed. Of the 69 risks identified, 18 were classified as critical to the CCS project requiring near-term mitigation measures. These risks were related to uncertainties associated with:

  • overall costs of the project;
  • by-product management;
  • the capture technology, and potential technical issues associated with the scale-up from pilot to demonstration phase;
  • landowner approvals; and
  • the performance of the CO2 storage site in terms of injectivity and containment.

Next Steps

Based on the Feasibility Study findings, the major activities to be undertaken during the next front end engineering and design (FEED) phase of the Getica CCS Demo project are:

  • FEED for capture;
  • FEED for transport; and
  • storage characterisation.

The objectives of the FEED phase are to explore the CCS project components at a greater level of technical detail and to reach a ±10% accuracy of the investment cost estimates (compared to the ±20% accuracy of the Feasibility Study phase estimates). This will involve acquiring and processing new geological data for the complete characterisation of the storage regime in Zone 5 (geological data acquisition (2D/3D seismic, wells) and modelling). This stage will determine the suitability of the selected storage solution and will provide the technical background needed to apply for the storage permit.