Making CCS a reality in Italy: an interview with Pietro Barbucci, Senior Advisor on CCS strategy in Enel
For this edition, we have interviewed Pietro Barbucci, Senior Advisor on CCS strategy in Enel, and the main contact for Enel’s participation in the CCS Project Network. He gave us an update on CCS in
Pietro, what is the current status on CCS in
Currently, the political situation for CCS in
The transposition of the EC Directive on geological storage of CO2 is progressing well in
However, the draft Decree does not include a detailed description of two important issues for project developers, namely liability for the stored CO2 and financial security. I hope that these issues will be further explored and clarified during the second half of 2011.
When it comes to the Porto Tolle project we are progressing as planned.
What do you consider to be your project's main achievements so far?
I would like to mention four significant milestones or achievements for our project to date:
1. Enel was granted an important permit for the Porto Tolle power plant in January 2011 to convert the existing oil-fired power plant to a coal-fired power plant with three units. The construction work for the power plant will start soon. The Porto Tolle CCS project will install a carbon capture plant on one of the new units at the power plant.
2. Our CO2 capture plant pilot in
3. The Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) studies for the full-scale capture plant are to be completed soon.
4. Offshore CO2 storage sites in the
What do you see as the main milestones for the project in the next 12-18 months?
In 2011 and 2012, we will meet several milestones in the project planning stages that mature and define the project. As mentioned, the FEED studies for the capture part will be completed next month and, based on these studies, we will select the capture technology in August. In March 2012 the transport pipeline FEED will be also completed. Detailed engineering for the project will be completed by April 2012, together with detailed cost evaluation.
For the storage part of the project, we will soon apply for a permit to drill exploration wells. The timing of this application depends upon the conclusion of the process of transposition of the EC Directive on geological storage. We are currently preparing the documents required for the application according to the draft transposition decree.
At our test facility in
Public co-financing and our own financing of the project is critical. We expect to finalise the financial planning by the end of 2012 – in this process the NER 300 decision is important to us.
You and your team have participated in the Network Sharing Sessions; what are your impressions of the Network so far?
I have participated in all the Network meetings so far and I think that we have managed to develop a good interaction between the member projects. From these Network meetings, where the projects work together for one or two days, we have established personal relationships. This is important in building trust between the projects and to stimulate open sharing of knowledge. There are of course limits to what can be shared, but I think the members are quite open. Effective co-coordination is essential for the Network and I consider it important that the Network facilitators have knowledge of both CCS and managing interaction between groups.
What are the benefits for the project of being a member of the Network?
I believe that all projects have to continuously learn during their development as CCS projects covering the full CCS value chain are very complex. Based on our own experiences, it is valuable to compare approaches and methodologies at different stages of the project development with similar projects and to have the opportunity to discuss common issues. To Enel, as an energy company, parts of a CCS value chain are quite new, and we definitely see benefits in learning and sharing experiences with projects in the same situation.
What would be your key messages for your fellow demonstration projects (whether already members of the Network or not)?
Full-scale CCS projects are complex and there are no shortcuts in developing such projects. These projects are the first of their kind and are developed while the relevant regulations are being prepared. As project developers, we have to ensure that we do the best job possible in an uncertain environment. Knowledge sharing will help to reduce uncertainty and timescales while allowing us to develop and integrate new technologies at the required high-quality level.