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Naturkraft builds gas power plant at Kårstø

June 24, 2005, 01:00 CEST

The board of Naturkraft AS decided on Friday to realize a plan to build Norways first commercial onshore gas-fired power plant at Kårstø in Rogaland, western Norway. Naturkraft is owned by Hydro and Statkraft, each holding a 50 percent stake.

The gas power plant, based on the most advanced technology available, will be the first of its kind in Europe with a filtering system for nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions.

The plant will be constructed for possible later installation of a gas scrubbing facility for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, if such technology proves technically and economically feasible.

Total investments for the project are estimated at just more than NOK 2 billion.

”Today’s decision marks the beginning of a new era in the use of vast gas resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf to cover rising energy demand in mainland Norway,” says Naturkraft Managing Director Ole Rønning. “Among fossil fuel-based power plants in Europe, the Kårstø plant will have the lowest emissions of climate gases.”

The Kårstø plant will significantly contribute to Norway’s electricity output and to the Nordic power market balance. It will deliver up to 3.5 terawatt hours (TWh) a year to the Norwegian power grid, corresponding to around 3 percent of Norway’s total electricity production or consumption by roughly 175,000 households.

Completion in 2007
Since Statkraft and Hydro decided in September last year to prepare for construction of the plant, the companies have received bids for the project and updated the necessary licences. Authorities licensed Naturkraft in 1997 to build a gas-fired power at Kårstø.

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) and the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) have reaffirmed the necessary licences, following some adjustements to the plan since the original licensing.

These adjustements mainly relate to technological improvements and lower emissions of climate gases. With a filtering system for NOx, total emissions of climate gases will be cut by more than 80 percent, significantly reducing any environmental impact.

Naturkraft is negotiating with possible contractors for the Kårstø project and expects to make a decision in the near future.

Naturkraft has so far invested around NOK 200 million in infrastructure at Kårstø, meaning that much of the ground work has already been completed. Plans call for more work at the site during the fall of 2005 to prepare for the large components that will be installed in 2006. The plant is expected to start electricity production in the fall of 2007.

Facts
  • The Kårstø plant will have an installed capacity of about 420 megawatt (MW) with a yearly production capacity of up to 3.5 TWh, or about 3 percent of Norway’s total power demand
  • As the first of its kind in Europe, it will have a filtering facility for NOx emissions, making its Europe’s cleanest gas-fired power plant
  • At maximum production, it will use about 600 million cubic metres of natural gas, or 0.5 percent of Norway’s annual gas export
  • At full production, the plant will emit roughly 1.2 million tonnes of CO2, which will be eligible for trading under Europe’s new emissions trading scheme
  • The project will employ about 500 people during the construction period and around 25-30 after the plant starts production
  • The Norwegian share of the invesments are estimated at around 25 percent