Alstom Seeks to Commercialize Carbon Capture by 2015 (Update1)
2011-01-18 12:08:41.316 GMT
(Adds Alstom comment in third paragraph.)
By Anthony DiPaola
Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Alstom SA, the world's third-largest
maker of power equipment, aims to sell the first commercial-
scale carbon capture and storage technology by 2015.
Alstom, based in Levallois-Perret outside Paris,
expects technology that captures CO2 emissions from electricity
plants will be critical to efforts to curtail gases believed to
cause global warming, Philippe Joubert, president of the power
unit, said in an interview yesterday at the World Future Energy
Summit in Abu Dhabi.
"To limit carbon emissions, you have to clean the
installed base," said Joubert, referring to existing power
plants burning fossil fuels such as coal, crude oil or natural
gas. The company is developing carbon-capture systems to add to
older plants as well as new technologies.
Governments around the world seek to simultaneously meet
rising energy demand while cutting air pollution linked to
global warming. United Nations envoys last month approved carbon
capture and storage, known as CCS, as eligible for greenhouse-
gas offsets. The world needs about 3,400 carbon-capture and
storage projects by 2050, up from five now, Nobuo Tanaka,
executive director for the International Energy Agency, said at
last month's climate talks in Mexico.
Alstom has three pilot projects in Poland, Canada and the
U.S. for CCS technology. Captured carbon can be injected into
oil fields to help boost production, making the technology ideal
for the Middle East, Joubert said.
Recovering More Oil
Power plants using crude oil or natural gas to generate
electricity emit carbon dioxide, as do oil and gas refineries.
Alstom also produces wind and gas turbines and hydroelectric
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc, Europe's two largest oil
companies, and Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest crude producer in
the U.S., are developing CCS projects to raise oil recovery.
In some cases, carbon dioxide can replace the natural gas
used for the same purpose, making more gas available for use in
power plants. Gas is cleaner burning and more efficient than
fossil fuels like coal or oil.
Commercial viability for CCS technology may not come for
another 10 years, Dominic Emery, chief of staff at BP
Alternative Energy, said at the Abu Dhabi conference. BP injects
about 1 million tons of CO2 a year into oil wells at test
project in Algeria, he said.
Persian Gulf oil producers will continue to rely mainly on
fossil fuels for power, making carbon-capture technology
important for efforts to produce cleaner energy, Joubert said.
Hooked on Fossil Fuel
"This region will be fossil fuels-oriented for decades to
come," he said.
Demand for renewable energy projects will increase in the
Gulf in coming years as states seek cleaner electricity options
before CCS becomes available, Joubert said.
Alstom is in talks with Abu Dhabi authorities about
building a 30-megawatt wind farm on an island in the emirate and
is pursuing plans to build concentrated solar plants in the
region, Joubert said.
Concentrated solar generators use mirrors to reflect the
sun's light onto a central point, where water or other fluids
can be heated to create steam and run a turbine.
Developing technology to generate power from the sun, wind
or waste material is more costly than burning fossil fuels.
Companies have sought to expand renewable power to take
advantage of government incentives and to limit emissions.
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--With assistance from Ayesha Daya in Abu Dhabi and Mathew Carr
in London. Editors: Mike Anderson, Randall Hackley.
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