Up to 28 million tonnes of CO2 will be captured by 15 operational CCS plants worldwide this year, according to an annual report from the Global CCS Institute that tracks developments in the nascent technology.
The trade body said another seven plants were due to come online within the next 18 months, which will take the total annual capture capacity to 40 million tonnes by 2017.
The report showcases two large-scale projects that became operational in 2015 – one project in Canada and one in Saudi Arabia, which is the first large-scale CCS project in the Middle East.
But CCS is struggling to gain a foothold worldwide, with less than $20 billion invested since 2007. Renewable power has received around 100 times that over the same timeframe, said Brad Page, CEO of the institute in a statement to the report.
One flagship coal-fired CCS project, SaskPower’s Boundary Dam in Canada, became operational in 2014, but has faced numerous technical problems since.
The $1 billion installation has run at around 40% capacity – about half the level planned – which has forced it to pay C$12 million in penalties to oil company Cenovus Energy for underdelivering on the amount of CO2.
SaskPower has said the delays are first year operating issues common to any plant and expects it to reach full capacity next year, according to CBC.
According to EndCoal.org, the plant is now at the centre of a web of lawsuits.
SaskPower is launching a US$38 million legal claim against the plant designer and lead construction company SNC Lavalin, while another construction company, AB Western, which built part of the plant, is suing SaskPower for US$29 million in unpaid work, with the utility counter-suing claiming that it overpaid for the work done by US$85 million.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org