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Aberthaw carbon dioxide capture plant contract agreed


Plans to build a carbon dioxide capture pilot project at Aberthaw Power Station in South Wales have taken a step forward with agreement reached between the power station owners and designers of CO2 capture plant.

Shell and power station owners RWE npower have agreed contracts to build a Cansolv integrated sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture demonstration system within the power station, subject to planning permission from The Vale of Glamorgan Council.

At 3MW in size the plant will be at least eight times the size of existing 'post-combustion' projects in the UK and will be capable of testing the process on emissions from a full-scale working power station.

The Cansolv system has been designed to capture 50 tonnes per day of CO2 from a slipstream of the flue gas at Aberthaw. Cansolv Technologies, part of the Shell Group, has developed the technology.

Dave Carlton, RWE npower station development manager, said: “The Aberthaw plant will enable us to test this technology on an industrial scale. We believe carbon capture and storage can play a significant part in reducing carbon emissions and the system pioneered by Cansolv has impressed us enough to want to put it to the test as soon as possible on a working coal-fired power station.”

Cansolv Technologies will design and provide the fully modularised plant that will be operational for a two-year period. Subject to planning permission being granted, Construction is expected to start in January with commissioning expected in the first part of 2011.

The integrated CANSOLV SO2/CO2 plant is an important step forward in the demonstration of the commercial readiness of carbon capture technology. It allows for combined sulphur and carbon capture techniques, with the potential to reduce energy losses through selective heat integration.

The pilot project forms a key part of RWE group’s global research and development strategy. RWE already has operational post-combustion CO2 capture plants at Didcot Power Station in Oxfordshire and at Niederaussem in Germany. The company is also part of a joint venture testing the technology at the “Mountaineer” plant in Virginia in the United States, and is developing plans for a large scale post combustion plant at a new coal-fired station at Eemshaven in Netherlands.


Notes to editors

-  Aberthaw Power Station can generate 1,500MW of electricity - enough to power the needs of some 1.5million people, equivalent to the total population of five cities the size of Cardiff.  The station contributes over £50m to the Welsh economy per year.

-  RWE is planning investments totalling £1bn per year for the next 10 years in the UK in order to help plug the impending energy gap, whilst reducing carbon intensity. In February (2009), the company gained consent from Government to go ahead with a £1bn modern gas-fired power station at Pembroke, which will generate enough power for over two million homes.

-  RWE is a major employer in Wales, operating Aberthaw Power Station near Barry, a Combined Heat and Power plant at Barry as well as three renewables office bases in south, mid and north Wales. npower renewables operates six hydroelectric power projects in North Wales, the UK’s first major offshore wind farm, North Hoyle, off the North Wales coast and seven onshore wind farms from Neath in South Wales to Anglesey in the North. npower renewables is also working with marine energy technology partners to deliver new wave and tidal stream power projects in the UK, including a 10 megawatt (MW) tidal stream energy project at Skerries, Anglesey. Last December (2008) npower renewables was granted consent to construct its 750MW Gwynt-y-mor offshore wind farm off the North Wales coast, which will be one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.

- Cansolv Technologies Inc. is a global provider of state-of-the-art gas absorption solutions. Cansolv offers leading regenerable SO2 scrubbing technology and a cutting-edge CO2 capture technology. Cansolv continues to leverage its knowledge base to develop new and enhanced existing applications for specific pollution abatement based on the CANSOLV System platform. Cansolv Technologies Inc was acquired by Shell Global Solutions International BV, a member of the Royal Dutch Shell group, in November 2008. Find out more about Cansolv at

Contact information

Claire Loveday
Claire Loveday
Job Title
0845 070 2807
RWE npower is a leading UK energy company and is part of the RWE Group, one of Europe’s leading electricity and gas companies. We serve around 5.8 million residential and business customers with electricity, gas and energy. Through RWE Generation, we operate and manage a flexible portfolio of coal, oil, biomass and gas-fired power stations, producing more than 10% of the electricity used in Great Britain. We are also on twitter - @npowerhq and Youtube.