Project manager Tor Gautestad gives updates on the progress.
It's time for an update from the cement industry's very first full-scale CO2 capture plant again. Since the last update, we are now finally in the big year 2023 - the year in which the CCS-plant will be installed, the year we all have been waiting for a very long time.
In short, the status of the project is roughly as expected at the last update. The project is moving forward roughly as planned, but still with some additional challenges that are directly linked to the war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia that have created global disruptions in the supply chain of materials and components. First and foremost, our challenges relate to deliveries of stainless-steel pipes, of which the plant has a great deal. That issue has now caused physical delays of approximately 4 months compared to original plan, but we now have control over the entire delivery. The materials have now been delivered from a supplier in England for prefabrication at a workshop in Lithuania. From there, the prefabricated parts are being sent either to Trosvik in Brevik for installation in the modules that are being built there, or directly to the construction site.
Absorber, Desorber and other enormous process equioment
With regards to deliveries of other process equipment, this is on schedule and the most critical components have already arrived at the construction site. As previously reported, all 9 large steam boilers have been delivered and installed. In addition, the large fan that will deliver flue gas from the cement plant to the CCS plant has been installed in the process area, and the DCC (Direct Contact Cooler) has also been installed. The Absorber, which is the largest single component in the plant, has also been delivered and is waiting on a barge outside our jetty together with the associated stack, and also the Desorber. Briefly, the 50 meter high Absorber has the task of capturing CO2 in the amine liquid, while the Desorber's task is to release the same CO2 from the same liquid at a higher temperature. These components will be lifted in during the summer by a giant mobile crane.
Passers-by by boat will also observe that the 6 large storage tanks for liquid CO2 have arrived from Spain, and are waiting at the container terminal. These will also be lifted in during the summer.
In addition to the above-mentioned process equipment, several other large components and modules have also been delivered to Trosvik for further preparation before being lifted in.
Calm- for now
The comprehensive concrete works that have been ongoing until recently are now more or less finished, and the process area is relatively quiet for a short while, pending mechanical assembly of the process plant. All foundations for large units are now ready and handed over from building contractors.
During 5 hectic winter weeks, the cement plant carried out a very extensive winter overhaul. In addition to the usual maintenance tasks for the cement plant, the project has conducted two large and demanding rebuilds in that cooling tower. No.2 has been replaced and also main ventilator No.1. Danish FLSmidth, as the responsible contractor, has performed an incredibly impressive job without any significant incidents and precisely on schedule.
HSE on track
We can still report on very good results in Health, Safety and Environment from the construction site. We are still without serious incidents of any kind thanks to systematic and extensive HSE-work. The spirit of commitment is great on all levels of the project, and the factory's employees are eagerly following the extreme transformation the factory is now going through.
And while the majority of the project organization is focused on the actual construction activities, we have now a separate group of people who focus on testing, commissioning and operation of the CCS -. Although this is more than a year from now, there is an incredible amount to be prepared and coordinated towards mechanical completion, and the work is in full progress.
We have also initiated the process of hiring the personnel to operate the plant in the future, and they will also be fully involved in the preparations. The main process engineer for the CCS-facility has recently been hired, and the hiring of 15 process operators is ongoing. And during the year, the total of 30 vacant positions will also be filled.
Major year for us
2023 will be the major assembly year in which most of the new facility will be in place. All installation is thoroughly planned, and we are confident that this will continue to progress smoothly and safely. Not because it will be easy, but because we have an incredibly strong and competent project organization that works hard and well together, and that solves all small and large challenges every single day.