Over the next five years, at least eight advanced large-scale demonstration carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects will enter operation—five in North America and three in Europe, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis shows. Leading the pack is Pennsylvania-based Air Products & Chemical’s CCS demonstration at a refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, a project that could be operational as soon as next year.

Twenty-four CCS projects qualified for Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s H1 2012 edition of “Race To First,” a semi-annual ranking of the world’s most advanced large-scale CCS demonstration projects. Projects qualifying spanned the full CCS value chain, including carbon capture of at least 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year (MtCO2/yr), transport, and underground storage. Of these, eight could be operational within the next five years and will have an aggregate annual injection rate of 16.8 (MtCO2/yr), the research firm said.

“We exclude the Norwegian pilot at Mongstad because it will only store 100ktCO2/yr and exclude some US facilities, to focus on the current round of demonstration projects attempting CCS on power and industry at scale for the first time.”

Air Product’s Texas $431 million demonstration, “on track for full operation in [the first quarter of] 2013,” will capture 1 MtCO2/yr from two steam methane reformers at Valero Energy’s Port Arthur refinery. Air Product’s technology will be retrofitted to the steam methane reformers, which produce hydrogen. The carbon dioxide will then be sold to Texas-based Denbury Resources and transported via pipeline for injection into enhanced oil recovery in Texas.

In second place is a $1.25 billion partnership between the Canadian government and industry to develop a CCS project at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Power Plant in the province of Saskatchewan. Project developers will retrofit the aging 120-MW Unit 3 at Boundary Dam Power Station near Estevan with post-combustion amine capture technology and capture 1 MtCO2/yr. The captured carbon dioxide will then be sequestered in deep saline aquifers or sold for enhanced oil recovery. This project is expected to be completed in early 2014.

E.ON’s demonstration to capture 1.1 MtCO2/yr from 250 MW of capacity at the Maasvlakte coal-fired plant in Rotterdam, Netherlands, was the first European project ranked on the list, taking the fifth spot overall. The only other European CCS project to make the top 10 is 2Co Energy’s planned 650-MW UK gasification power plant, in 10th place.

“The study found that US and Canadian projects benefit from more public funding, lower storage costs and more options for enhanced oil recovery than those elsewhere,” the firm said in a statement. “All European projects, except E.ON’s, depend for their success on receiving additional public funding from the European Union or national governments.”

“It has been clear for years that if the world’s industrial and power generation sectors are not to see a large part of their asset base rendered obsolete, they need carbon capture and storage to work,” said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “But not one large-scale, end-to-end project has yet been built, and the technologies still have to prove their cost-effectiveness.”

Sources: POWERnews, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Air Products, SaskPower