NOK 100 million for pan-European carbon capture lab

(08.11.2013) The Norwegian Government has allocated NOK 100 million (€12 million) in its additional appropriation to the 2014 Norwegian budget to upgrade laboratories at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) for a European research project on carbon capture and storage.

"This is a happy day for both NTNU and the environment," said Kari Melby, Pro-Rector for Research at the university.

The European Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Laboratory Infrastructure (ECCSEL) is a joint European infrastructure project designed for carbon capture and storage (CCS) research. CCS is seen as one of the most important technologies available to combat climate change.

NTNU given responsibility

On behalf of Norway, NTNU has been given the responsibility to lead the planning and design of this infrastructure. This effort is currently in full swing in partnership with 15 major research institutions from 10 European countries. The general meeting of this consortium decided this summer that the head office and operations centre for ECCSEL will be in Trondheim, with a planned start-up in 2015.

"It is a real commitment when NTNU - in close cooperation with and supported by SINTEF, the Ministry of Education and the Research Council of Norway - takes on this responsibility. We need to be able to offer modern and functional laboratories and other facilities at a minimum. This grant enables us to quickly get started with a badly needed renovation and upgrade of the Thermal Energy Laboratory. We will also then have a place for the equipment for which the Research Council of Norway recently allocated NOK 50 million," said Pro-Rector Melby.

"ECCSEL will be a modern pan-European infrastructure for research and development of second and third generation CCS technology. Carbon capture and storage is one of several key measures that can be used to reduce anthropogenic emissions of CO2. We need CCS to reduce carbon emissions quickly, but it will take a great amount of research and demonstration work to find the least expensive and most efficient technologies," says NTNU's Sverre Quale, who will be ECCSEL project director at its head office in Trondheim.