‘One of the ugliest political crash landings’ – Norway abandons carbon capture project

Frederic Hauge of the Norwegian environmental group Bellona is calling it “one of the ugliest political crash landings” ever.

The Norwegian government has given up its plans on keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by tucking it under the ocean floor.

In 2007 Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg launched the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Technology Centre in Mongstad, Norway. In a very publicized event the Prime Minister opened the 5.9 billion kroner research centre, equating its importance with that of a “moon landing.”

Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) was supposed to take CO2 from the a nearby oil refinery and funnel it into the Norwegian continental shelf through a pipe.

Now, after many delays and budget issues, Stoltenberg says the plan is bust.

“At both the national and international level, the development of technologies to capture and store CO2 has taken longer, been more difficult and more costly than expected,” Oil and Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe told reporters.

The ministry told the BBC that it “remained committed to research into carbon capture.”

Stoltenberg’s cabinet is leaving office in October after an election defeat.

After initiating the TCM project, Norway also earmarked 140 million euro over five years for CSS intiatives in other EU member states.

Upon allocating the funds, Stoltenberg told officials that CSS would be “essential” for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.