Due to a slight change of plans of the original site owner, the MefCO2 Consortium has been looking for a new site owner for the MefCO2 pilot plant. RWE’s site in Niederaußem has been the most promising option and after several discussions the MefCO2 pilot plant and all relevant activities of WP3 and WP4 will take place at RWE’s power plant in Niederaußem.
RWE Power AG (RWE) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RWE AG and one of Germany’s largest power producers. About 10,000 employees are working in lignite open cast mines, power plants, upgrading facilities and administration. The company contributes with its power production capacity of about 15 GW to the broad energy mix of lignite, hard coal, nuclear power, gas and renewables of the RWE Group. RWE Power invests in the construction of new highly efficient power plants and the development of environment friendly technologies for the power production in the future. For RWE Power CCU and CCS are seen as important options to reach the climate targets.
RWE Power is active in the development and testing of CCU and CCS technologies since 2005. RWE Power was and is partner in various national, European and international projects to develop CO2 capture, transport, utilization and storage. Since 2007 the post-combustion pilot CO2 plant which is part of RWE’s Coal Innovation Centre at Niederaussem is for more than 60,000 hours in operation as part of a development program on optimization of capture technology.
The operational infrastructure at Niederaussem (24/7 operation) will be used for comprehensive experimental and long-term testing campaigns under real boundary conditions of the MefCO2 full CCU-chain demonstrator, comprising: CO2-capture plant, CO2-compression/filling unit and the MefCO2 methanol synthesis unit. The performance of the technology regarding the effort for maintenance and availability will be assessed on basis of the data analysis of the operating behaviour of the CCU-chain demonstrator during start-up, ramp up/down cycles, operational parameter variation, long-term testing. RWE will support the Life Cycle Assessment and the development of the business case by providing information and cost data about CO2 capture and the energy market.
RWE’s Coal Innovation Centre at Niederaussem as testing site of the MefCO2 demonstrator is widely known in research and engineering for testing of new technologies under real industrial boundary conditions to achieve commercial status and to prepare large-scale implementation. Several thousand visitors per year from the public, press and politics as well as scientists from all over the world are visiting the site to inform oneself about innovations in the energy sector.