Aker Carbon Capture will deliver a pre-engineering study to the energy company St1 for the development of a carbon capture facility at Finnsementti's Lappeenranta cement plant. The captured CO2 would be used for the first renewable synthetic methanol plant in Finland. Aker Carbon Capture's Just Catch unit could capture around 40,000 tonnes CO2 per year, enabling the production of 25,000 tonnes of methanol per year.
Aker Carbon Capture is currently delivering the world's first carbon capture facility at Norcem's cement plant in Brevik, Norway, and will bring learnings from this project into the study for the Finnsementti carbon capture plant.
"We are excited to enter the Finnish market and deliver a study for the promising Power-to-X market. Renewable synthetic methanol can replace fossil fuels used in maritime and road transport," says Valborg Lundegaard, Chief Executive Officer at Aker Carbon Capture. "We are dedicated to help decarbonize the hard-to-abate cement industry through our proven and proprietary carbon capture technology. Finland has a strong ambition to go climate neutral by 2035, and we are ready to support Finnish industry on its decarbonization journey," she continues.
Today, on an industrial scale, methanol is predominantly produced from natural gas by reforming the gas with steam and then converting and distilling the resulting synthesized gas mixture to create pure methanol. The synthetic methanol production plant in Lappeenranta would use the hard-to-abate carbon dioxide emissions from the limestone raw-material at the Finnsementti factory. The other raw material needed is low-carbon hydrogen produced in an electrolysis process involving wind power and water. E-methanol is produced in the synthesis of captured carbon and low-carbon hydrogen.
"At St1 we see Aker Carbon Capture as a potential technology supplier with significant experience to support us in the St1 Power-to-Methanol Lappeenranta project. We seek solutions that offer a high technology readiness level which can be heat integrated into cement plant processes. Another part of the co-operation will be to study CO2 liquefaction and on-site storage options to secure the methanol plant operation, in case when CO2 is not available from the flue gas of the cement plant," says Riitta Silvennoinen, Head of Energy Transition Business at St1.
"We're looking forward to working together with St1, who aim to be frontrunners in the production of renewable synthetic methanol. This collaboration marks the start of our carbon capture journey in Finland, offering many opportunities," says Joel Flitton, Sales Director Sweden and Finland at Aker Carbon Capture.
St1 researches and develops economically viable, environmentally friendly sustainable energy solutions and sees Power-to-X as an interesting possibility to help decarbonize the transport sector. It has extensively studied the potential of using and producing various Power-to-X products, such as synthetic methanol, green ammonia, and synthetic kerosene.
St1 is aiming to start producing synthetic methanol by 2026. The Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has granted this project a conditional funding of EUR 35.4 million, awaiting approval from the European Commission. Funding is provided by the European Recovery and Resilience Facility.
Aker Carbon Capture, press release, 2023-01-31.