Executive summary

First-of-a-kind carbon capture projects are facing a unique challenge affecting not only project developers and carbon capture technology providers, but also project financiers and regulators.

Project developers and financiers require an accurate prediction of capital and operating costs. Regulators are seeking an in-depth understanding of the process and resources required as well as emissions reduction before agreeing to permit the project.

With “off the shelf” technologies, like flue gas desulphurization (FGD), which have been newly-built or retrofitted on many occasions to power plants, performance data is readily available to use as benchmarks for financial models or performance guarantees. However with first-of-a-kind technologies like CCS and the need to protect the IP of technology providers has seen project developers, financiers and regulators having to deal with a lack of publically available information to assess the technology.

This report provides a methodology for the independent validation of impacts on plant performance and inputs for retrofitting Post Combustion Capture (PCC) technology. The methodology can also be readily applied to green-field sites. It will also provide the foundation for the valuation of performance risks and potential revenue impacts on facility operation. The report uses a case study based on a 5000 tpd PCC retrofit at the Loy Yang A power station to develop and explain the methodology and presents results from the case study.

Importantly, both the methodology and results described in this report has been peer reviewed by a leading CCS capture technology expert who found the methodology to be a sound approach in providing performance data and in protecting technology vendor IP whilst at the same time providing sufficient confidence to the wider CCS community in being able to evaluate a project.

In order to achieve this, the company executing the validation (independent engineering contractor) has to be fully supported by the technology provider as well as the CCS project proponents1.

WorleyParsons as the independent engineering contractor managed the overall execution of the project, carried out the power plant modelling work, integration of the PCC plant and assessment of the remaining cases evaluating power plant process improvements due to the addition of coal drying, wet and dry flue gas cooling. WorleyParsons was also responsible for the operational performance data of the overall system including the host unit, PCC and the coal drying plant.

The technology provider Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (MHI) provided all the necessary inputs/outputs for the PCC plant retrofit and the changes arising in the operating conditions of the capture plant due to the addition of coal drying to improve the overall efficiency of the power plant.

The power station host Loy Yang Power provided all the necessary operational data for the modelling of the host power plant.

This scope split ensured a protection of the technology vendor’s IP whilst allowing an independent evaluation of the overall performance impact. The methodology adopted minimizes the technology vendor’s “black box” and therefore isolates to the best extent possible specific capture technology-related issues from overall plant performance and plant integration issues. From a power plant perspective, individual components and the entire process can thus be benchmarked against theoretically achievable results with a reduced performance risk profile of a project.

1 This study has been performed by WorleyParsons together with the project proponents and carbon capture technology provider Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). Whilst MHI supplied PCC-process data to WorleyParsons, no confidential process data has been published in the public report. Any confidential data used in this public report has been normalized to show the relative impact of plant optimization.