The level of industrial interest in both carbon capture and hydrogen as a future energy source has grown dramatically. Both pathways, in parallel, are being investigated by many operating companies as solutions toward satisfying decarbonization ambitions, and longer-term net-zero goals.
Every investigation carries a unique set of goals and guiding principles. These relate to location and age of existing assets, synergies with adjacent operating facilities, CO2 utilization – including proximity to CO2 sequestration geology and/or pipelines, availability and proximity of hydrogen supplies, equipment requirements – including size and transport logistics, regulatory requirements regarding CO2 emissions pricing schemes and tax incentives, and estimates of project capital cost and schedule, just to name a few.
A systematic approach toward a best-balanced course of action considers all facets that may influence the outcome, prior to beginning these investigations.
To provide a level of clarity around large-scale, commercially proven and de-risked carbon capture, Fluor has pre-invested in a Canadian-centric approach to applying its Econamine FG PlusSM technology. Econamine FG PlusSM is used to capture CO2 from post-combustion (i.e., stack gas) applications such as utility boilers, cogeneration facilities, once-through steam generators, power production facilities and steam-methane reformers. The Canadian-centric approach has focused on assets common to western Canada, both in functionality and scale. The resultant benefits include a solution that minimizes plot space requirements, minimizes CAPEX, minimizes utility requirements (hence OPEX), removes logistical and transport constraints and is deployed in a modular arrangement.
Side-by-side comparisons between Econamine FG PlusSM and conventional amine-based solutions have demonstrated that Econamine FG PlusSM outperforms the baseline by reducing steam requirements, solvent circulation rate, total power demand and total cooling load. Fluor’s Econamine FG PlusSM energy requirements range between 73-78% of the baseline, depending upon the application. These benefits have been derived from over thirty years of optimizing the Econamine FG PlusSM process around a specifically tailored CO2 capture solution.
It is noted, however, that Fluor has a long history of designing CO2 capture applications and may take an agnostic approach toward specific CO2 capture technologies. This is most evident in Fluor’s successful EPC delivery of the Shell Quest Carbon Capture project, that utilized Shell technology, at the Scotford Upgrader.
Consistent amongst environmentally-driven projects, cost, execution certainty and performance certainty are paramount to minimize costs associated with operating the core business.
This editorial is the first of a two-part series. Part 2 will delve into industry interest around hydrogen as a future energy source, and what Fluor is doing to assist their clients in remaining ahead of Canadian developments.
Director, Head of Technology – Energy Solutions, Fluor Canada