Going underground

Essent Business Development and Shell are to study the feasibility of developing a power plant that would capture and store underground most of the CO2 that it produces.


Essent Business Development and Shell Gas and Power Developments are to study the possibility of developing a 1,000MW power plant that would capture and store underground most of the CO2 that it produces.


To do so, Essent and Shell will assess the feasibility of combining a high-efficiency gasifier, a power generation plant and equipment to capture and store the CO2.


At the plant, coal and solid biomass would be gasified to produce synthesis gas, which in turn would be used to make hydrogen, which would then be used as a fuel to drive turbines, creating electricity.


The two companies claim that the gasification technique makes it simpler and cheaper to capture CO2 than conventional coal and biomass firing.


The study will assess which depleted oil and gas fields would be suitable for CO2 storage.


Because of the volume of CO2 involved, they will consider both onshore and offshore fields.


The companies are evaluating possible sites for the plant in the south-west part of the Netherlands.