Global Agreements 

CATF staff tour a gasification manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China.

What Partnerships can Accomplish:

 

By bringing together the most innovative companies in Asia and the West, the deployment of a variety of promising clean energy options can be accelerated. The climate challenge will be solved by multiplying opportunities for rapid development and deployment of low-carbon generating technologies, not by restricting engagement between companies in the world’s most dynamic economies. 

 

Investments by one country reduce the cost of that technology worldwide, increasing the likelihood that CCS will be widely deployed in time to help avert the worst consequences of climate change.

 

 

What Partnerships Have to Offer:

 

Advantages China Brings to CCS:

 

Working with China can speed CCS deployment and lower costs

 

Projects in China are completed in about half the time as ones in the West.  This is not simply a function of permitting, but the entire procurement and construction schedule is faster.

 

Capital and labor costs in China are a fraction of their costs in the West.  These lower costs are important not just in building large projects, but the play an important role in reducing costs associated with RD&D.  The rising education levels in these countries combined with lower costs make them important potential centers of CCS innovation.

 

Investment funds, especially in China, are available for new energy projects and for innovative energy technology development.  Some individual Chinese companies have energy technology R&D budgets as large as the US DOE R&D budget.  Furthermore, CCS may be viewed as a potential export to the West which may drive CCS interest in India and China.

 

Because China has a  thriving coal gasification and power development markets, most global power system and coal gasification expansion for the foreseeable future will occur in these markets. This growth can facilitate CCS.

 

 

Advantages the West Brings to CCS:

 

The West has deep experience with CCS technology and policies that support its growth

 

North America, the EU and Australia represent CCS resources (demonstration projects, experienced companies, etc.) that can support CCS technology development/deployment in China.

 

North America in particular has deep experience with EOR. In Texas alone, over a bilion tons have been injected for EOR since the 1970s. However in China, EOR-CCS experience is quite limited. But the potential to use EOR to advance CCS in China is high. Estimates from Advanced Resources International (ARI) for conventional CO2 EOR project that China has as much as 12 billion tons in potential CO2 demand (based on technical potential)- equivalent to the captured CO2 from 65GW of coal-ored power plants over a thirty year period.

 

Climate policies in the West, while limited in many respects, have driven the development of pioneer projects with high levels of integration.  Experience with highly integrated CCS projects in lacking in the developing world.  The West has extensive experience in EOR, a technology that is not widely practiced in the developing world.  This know-how would accelerate CCS projects in Asia.

 

As a result partnerships could dramitically lower CO2 releases in both Asia and the West. The partnerships could:

  • Establish EOR in China through Western partnerships
  • Export opportunities for China to send CCS technology to the West
  • Dramatically lower cost technology for the West
  • Drive technical innovation in both the East and West
  • Create more CCS projects in both the East and West than would occur by working separately.

 

 

US China Partnerships:

 

Some examples of successful partnerships between the US and China are listed below:

 

  • In February 2012, Massachusetts-based GreatPoint Energy and Shanghai-based China Wanxiang Group signed a partnership worth $1.25 billion which will enable GreatPoint, a technology developer, to build the first-of-its-kind large-scale coal-to-gas facility with a process called hydromethanation by 2015. The new facility has an expected production capacity of 30 billion cubic feet (BCF) and will capture carbon which will be sold for other industrial purposes. Wanxiang will fund a portion of the project in addition to being a co-developer and co-operator. The project is located in the coal-rich Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

 

  • EmberClear Corporation is the exclusive North American licensee of Huaneng CERI's multi-stage, dry-feed, waterwall coal gasification system, which has also been installed at the GreenGen IGCC project in Tianjin. EmberClear planned to install the technology at its Good Spring IGCC project in Pennsylvania, which was expected to deliver 270 megawatts of electricity while capturing over 50 percent of the CO2 output initially and nearly 100 percent by 2020. The companies have also signed an agreement to share technical data from the Good Spring plant and the GreenGen facility. In February 2012, the two companies signed a new technology licensing agreement which allowed EmberClear to produce low-emissions liquid fuel from coal in the United States with CERI's CTL process.

 

  • Duke Energy and China Huaneng Group signed a technology-sharing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in August 2009, the potential focus areas of which include “(1) clean coal power generation with the focus on IGCC and ultra-supercritical power generation; (2) CO2 capture and sequestration including pre-combustion capture, post.combustion capture, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and geologic sequestration, etc.; (3) Efficiency-improvement and emission reduction in coal-fired power plants; (4) renewable energy power generation including wind, biomass, solar and other energy sources.” According to a Duke official, “we both have the scale and mass to push the global industry forward in the development of clean technologies.” In February 2012 the two corporations expanded their cooperation by signing a new, three-year agreement which enabled them to conduct joint engineering study to determine the potential feasibility of deploying Huaneng's carbon capture process at Duke's Gibson Station located in Indiana.

 

  • In January 2011, American Electric Power (AEP), one of the largest utility companies in the U.S., signed an agreement with China Huaneng Group to collaborate on a range of low-carbon energy and energy efficiency technologies, including knowledge-sharing on post-combustion carbon capture (PCC) technologies. Huaneng operates a large-sized PCC system at a commercial-scale coal power plant in Shanghai, while AEP is working to develop a similar facility in the United States. The agreement between the companies was signed during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States and was lauded in materials released by the White House . evidence of the growing importance of low-carbon energy in the commercial relationship between the two largest economies in the world.

 

  • In January 2011, AEP signed a cooperation agreement with State Grid Corporation of China, the country's largest electricity distributor and one of the world's largest companies in terms of revenue, through which the two companies would jointly evaluate and potentially advance six transmission and distribution technologies, including ultra-high-voltage transmission equipment, advanced energy storage technologies, smart-meter technologies, and distributed generation technologies. Experts from each company would work together to research different technologies and share data about their performance. If the technologies prove feasible, the companies will explore potential fabrication and manufacturing in the United States. This agreement was also announced during President Hu's state visit to the White House.

 

  • An initial September 2009 agreement between the U.S.-based utility Duke Energy and ENN Group of China promotes joint technology development of a variety of technologies, from CCS-relevant systems including UCG to solar energy, biofuels, and energy efficiency. In a follow-on agreement signed in May 2011, ENN Group agreed to make capital investments in commercial solar projects operated by Duke Energy Generation Services.

 

  • Atlanta-based Southern Company deployed the KBR-developed Transport Integrated Gasification Technology (TRIG) at a commercial-scale coal gasification plant operated by Dongguan Tianming Electric Power in China. The terms of this agreement include technology licensing, engineering, and equipment to use TRIG technology at a new 120MW power plant. Operation began in 2011.

 

  • Zero Emission Energy Plants, Ltd. (ZEEP) and ENN Group reached an agreement in September 2009 to design and construct a commercial-scale power plant in Shandong Province featuring Connecticut-based Pratt & Whitney's Rocketdyne gasification system.

 

  • Canada's HTC Purenergy, a leading technology developer, is collaborating with Suntracing from China to demonstrate modular technology developed by HTC that uses CO2 captured from power applications to produce a fire-suppressing foam; the foam is then used to put out coal seam fires, which are common in China and a significant contributor to global CO2 emissions.



Fact

CATF’s China Project:

  • The Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is working in China and elsewhere in Asia to speed a global transition to low-carbon coal technology, by facilitating the development of joint business ventures between innovative energy companies and research institutions in Asia and the West.   
  • The China Project at CATF builds on China’s current leadership in low-carbon coal technologies that will be essential to addressing climate change and energy security.
  • Read more about our efforts in China here.