Fortum – the Finnish state-owned energy company, is selling its 50% stake in Fortum Oslo Varme for $1.1 billion (10 billion Norwegian crowns) to Hafslund Eco – owned by the Oslo municipality. This is a big deal for Norway’s carbon capture take-off as it has secured funding for Norway’s largest waste-to-energy plant to have installed carbon capture and storage (CCS) of 400,000 tons of CO2 per year.
Fortum Oslo Varme is Norway’s largest producer of district heating and Hafslund Eco is owned by the Oslo municipality. The city of Oslo participated in this deal with the goal to help fund the carbon capture project for this waste-to-energy incinerator that it has been working on over the past seven years.
The city of Oslo has been collaborating with Fortum Oslo Varme and the Bellona Foundation – an international environmental NGO based in Oslo to make this carbon capture initiative a reality.
Plans to complete it have been stalled earlier due to a lack of funding. Back in 2017, the city said the incinerator had shown promising results in capturing greenhouse gasses from the fumes of burning rubbish.
The city of Oslo and its business partners have now agreed to pay up to $690 million for completing the carbon capture in 2026. The estimated total cost is almost $1.05 billion.
The Norwegian state has already given a funding guarantee of $350 million to cover the rest of the needed amount. It also pays for the transport and permanent storage of the CO2 off the western coast of Norway as the project will be linked to the Northern Lights for the permanent storage part.
The city of Oslo and the Norwegian government play an enormous part in the implementation of this carbon capture and storage initiative. The incinerator called the Klemetsrud project is Norway’s largest waste-to-energy plant that emits around 400,000 tons of CO2 annually. That is 14% of the city’s total emissions of greenhouse gasses and it makes it the biggest single source of CO2 emissions.
Oslo plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 95% by 2030 and the Klemetsrud carbon capture project is seen as vital for these ambitions to be fulfilled. Bellona is also working with cities, industries, and the EU to show how carbon capture and storage is necessary for rapid and deep decarbonization.
A sever-year carbon capture project becoming a reality is a major milestone for Norway’s carbon footprint mitigation efforts and shows how government determination is essential for the development of the industry. When fitted with carbon capture, the incinerator will become the world’s largest waste-to-energy plant with full-scale CCS and if proven successful would lead the way for other similar projects around the world.