High costs delay Norwegian waste-to-energy carbon capture project

Klemetsrud waste-to-energy plant

CCS at the Klemetsrud waste-to-energy plant is part of the Longship and Northern Lights projects in Norway, which aim to develop infrastructure to ship carbon emissions from all over Europe to storage sites in the North Sea.

By Hanno Böck

A carbon capture project at a waste-to-energy facility in Norway has been put on hold due to an updated cost estimate. According to the operator Hafslund Oslo Celsio, the original project plan cannot be realized with the existing budget.


The Klemetsrud waste-to-energy plant in Oslo is processing waste from the city and surrounding municipalities. It produces electricity and powers the district heating system in the Norwegian capital.


It is the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions in Oslo. The city had wanted to implement carbon capture at the plant for a while now. But funding it turned out to be difficult. The project failed to get support from the EU Innovation Fund in 2021. However, in 2022, an agreement between the City of Oslo and the company Hafslund Eco, both owning stakes in the plant, allowed the CCS project to proceed.

Inflation and a weak Norwegian krone raise costs

“New cost calculations show that we cannot carry out the carbon capture project according to the original plan within the existing budget. It is therefore necessary to take the CCS project into a cost-reducing phase.” writes Truls Jemtland, spokesperson of Haflsund Oslo Celsio, in an e-mail. “These cost increases are largely due to increased energy and material costs due to inflation, geopolitical instability, and changes in the Norwegian krone exchange rate.”


The Klemetsrud plant is a partner of the Longship and Northern Lights projects in Norway. Plans are to transport carbon dioxide with tanker ships from industrial sites in Europe to a terminal in western Norway, from where it is injected into storage sites below the North Sea.


The Klemetsrud plant and a cement plant in Norway were planned to be the first two customers of this larger carbon capture infrastructure project.

Northern Lights says it is still on track

The Northern Lights project, run by the oil companies Equinor, Shell, and TotalEnergies, still sees itself on schedule. Ingrid Vervik Salte from Northern Lights tells us via E-Mail: “In such large industrial projects, there will always be uncertainties in a development phase. Northern Lights is still on schedule and on budget for operational start in 2024.”


Salte also points out that Northern Lights recently reached an agreement with Yara Sluiskil, operator of an ammonia and fertilizer plant in the Netherlands, to store 800,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.


Klemetsrud operator Haflsund Oslo Celsio still hopes to realize the CCS project. “We have a clear ambition to establish carbon capture at the waste incineration plant at Klemetsrud.” writes Celsio’s Truls Jemtland. The project is now on hold for 12 months, during which the budget will be revisited and cost savings evaluated.

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