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Due to the worldwide lack of resources, the development of gas fields is expanding to even those regions and deposits which were previously very difficult, if not impossible, to access. One example of this is the Snøvhit natural gas field, located in the Barents Sea south of the polar sea.
Gas there, which is extracted by the Norwegian energy company Statoil, is transported 140 kilometres by pipeline to the island of Melkøya, near Hammerfest. The gas is liquefied here in a special system before being transported via special tankers to customers in America and Southern Europe. As general contractor, Linde was given responsibility by Statoil for the engineering, procurement and supervision of the natural gas liquefaction plant assembly.
An important part of the task was to comply with demanding environmental standards in order to ensure the safety of the fish population in the Barents Sea as well as to minimise the CO2 emissions of this large-scale plant. Linde engineers thus had the task of capturing and compressing the CO2 separated from the natural gas. The result was that today, 700,000 tonnes of CO2 can be annually captured on Melkøya and returned to the gas field.
CO2 storage in the Barents Sea
The CO2 is returned via pipeline to the gas field and stored securely at a depth of 2.6 kilometres below the seabed instead of simply letting it escape into the atmosphere. This best practice (technical term: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Facility) is a reference facility for future natural gas liquefaction plants. No wonder that the Melkøya facility is considered to be the most energy efficient one of its kind in the world.
Contractor - StatoilHydro ASA
Location - Hammerfest, Norway
Procedure - CO2 separation with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries scrubbing agent
Capacity - 2,600,000 Nm3/h of flue gas from gas turbines 3,465 t/d CO2
Purity - > 99 Vol. % CO2
Commissioning - 2008