Demonstrating CCS Feasibility with Waste-to-Energy Plants in Switzerland
With carbon capture and storage (CCS) found to be the most promising solution for the decarbonization of waste-to-energy plants in an earlier study that was conducted by sus.lab for the Association of Operators of Swiss Waste Incineration Plants (VBSA), this project set out to investigate the feasibility of the complete CCS chain (capture, transport and storage) for the waste incineration plant KVA Linth in Switzerland. The study was conducted by KVA Linth and sus.lab and was funded by Innosuisse and VBSA.
This feasibility study yielded the following key results and achievements:
An amine-based post-combustion CO2 capture unit to capture 100,000 tons of CO2 per year was designed for KVA Linth and could be operational in 24 months at CAPEX of CHF ~25 million without heat integration and CHF ~30 million with heat integration depending on plant specific configurations.
The Northern Lights project offshore of Norway has been identified as a viable CO2 storage site that is most advanced and open to third parties.
After assessing various transport options for captured CO2, a combination of a liquid-CO2 pipeline to a private SBB loading station and train to Rotterdam at a cost of CHF 78 per ton of CO2 has been identified as the most realistic option for now. At scale, transport via pipeline is the only feasible option.
Expected storage costs ex Rotterdam, are CHF 33-61 per ton of CO2 by 2030.
The costs for the first-of-a-kind full CCS-chain have been estimated at around CHF 156-190 per ton of CO2.
Currently, none of the potential revenue sources are sufficient and financial support from the government or regulatory changes will be necessary to make the project commercially viable. Switzerland currently lacks regulations for process emissions from CO2 capture plants.
The implementation of the CCS chain at KVA Linth requires the public's financial support as well as collaboration and support from a network of policy makers, regulatory bodies, the supply chain industry and other stakeholders, such as cantons, communes, and NGOs.
Long-term cost reduction and scale-up of CCS also requires a CO2 pipeline network. Several stakeholder groups – including the waste-to-energy and other industries, federal and regional entities and scientific institutions – are involved in discussions around the possibility of realizing a CO2 collection and transport network.
This project was able to demonstrate the feasibility of such a complete CCS chain. In order to progress CCS adoption further, it has been identified that investigations into the potential and feasibility of CCS for other hard-to-abate sectors is crucial. Further, engaging with stakeholders beyond Switzerland in Europe on developing clarity for CCS projects in terms of financing, coordination, and public sentiment is critical for CCS adoption.