Vattenfall Schwarze Pumpe - Project Profile

This project is also known as the CO2-Free Power Plant Project. Vattenfall began collaborating with two R&D projects on CCS technology at the end of 2006. Vattenfall is currently sponsoring through the CO2 GeoNet European Network of Excellence, a network sponsored by the European Commission from 2004 to 2009, the Joint Research Activities Programme 18 “Monitoring near-surface leakage and its impacts.” It is also collaborating with the Imperial College of London to perform a life cycle assessment (LCA) of the CCS process. Vattenfall announced in November 2009 that it was achieving nearly 100% CO2 capture at Schwarze Pumpe.

The purpose of the Schwarze Pumpe pilot plant is to validate engineering work, to gain a better understanding of the oxyfuel combustion technology, and to demonstrate such capture technology.

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The plant was built and is operated by Vattenfall, with several other companies contributing toward the project. Alstom built the steam generator and electrostatic precipitator, Air Products designed the purification and compression technologies, and Bilfinger Berger Power Services provided the desulphurisation unit.

This pilot plant with a 30MW coal-fired boiler combusts lignite and hard coal in a mixture of oxygen and recirculated CO2, also containing water vapour. The flue gas is then treated and contaminants are removed. The water will then be condensed and the concentrated CO2 compressed into a liquid

The capture capacity of the Schwarze Pumpe plant is approximately 75,000 tonnes per year. The CO2 capture rate is over 90%, and as of May 2009 the plant had captured approximately 1000 tonnes of CO2 using the oxyfuel method. As of yet, the plant coordinators are still working on a viable way to store the CO2.

Gaz de France have signed a cooperation agreement with Vattenfall to use the CO2 captured at Schwarze Pumpe for a three year pilot trial of enhanced gas recovery and storage at the Altmark Gas Field (the second largest onshore gas field in Europe). The CO2 is expected to be injected at depths of 3000m in this trial.