The main objective is to prepare the ground for developing large-scale facilities for zero emission electric power using coal as a feedstock. Options for hydrogen production as well as for production of synthetic fuels, and provisions for heat integration with surrounding industries will be investigated too. In this endeavour CO2 capture and permanent storage - including use for enhanced oil or gas recovery (EOR or EGR) - constitute an inherent and decisive prerequisite.
Therefore COACH represents an important step in the development of a strong partnership between Europe and China in the domain of power production without leaving apart the important aspect of the societal anchorage of the CO2 capture and storage issue, including legal, regulatory, funding and economic aspects, and public acceptance.
A number of technical issues will have to be addressed:
- Optimal configuration. This will include assessment and ranking of candidate concepts on technical, environmental and commercial terms. In this pursue – beyond the non-technical factors, the state of development, lead-time, cost, maturity and risk are deemed decisive criteria.
- Risk minimisation. One important aim is to reduce techno/economic risks and uncertainties as well as the consequence of failure.
- Gap-closing measures. To the extent that proven technologies are not available or appropriate special measures will be recommended - either by obviating the needs or by diverting to additional research on specific processing steps.
- Pre-normative issues. In order to harmonise commercial actions between Europe and China COACH may provide valuable insight and contribution. This also relates to the fact that (particularly) the storage of CO2 may have a legal and regulatory bearing on the selection of storage site and necessary infrastructure.
Assessment and ranking of candidate options (technologies, policy, societal) that are or may become viable within a coal-based scenario for China on polygeneration and carbon capture and storage will lead to deliver the following results:
- Viability assessment (studies) subjected to the vision of a realistic and economically sound route for polygeneration linked with carbon capture and storage schemes in China.
- Transformation of main results into techno/economic criteria pertaining to technology, sites location (plant and CO2 storage sites), size and stakeholders.
- Conceptual studies and planning of large-scale facility subject to the scenario.
- Validation of the handling and storage options for the CO2 – including alternative use of the CO2 (e.g. for EOR/EGR).
- Identification of financing mechanisms, legal and regulatory frameworks as well as the environmental and public acceptance issues.
- Translation of main results into topical policy documents.
- Providing a roadmap for large-scale coal-based polygeneration with carbon capture and storage in China on technical, economic and societal terms - including permits and how funding can be syndicated in China, and how a subsequent large-scale demonstrator could be generally anchored in society in the context of public acceptance.
Achieving these objectives will require that the Chinese-European consortium addresses several management issues, such as :
- Mobilising European and Chinese knowledge and comprehension of technologies, systems and processes essential to reach the stated objective. This is required in order to make proper selections of conversion technologies, sites for geological storage of the CO2, and the location of (the) plants.
- Co-ordination, monitoring and assessment of relevant research pertaining to the knowledge-base and technologies.
- Evaluation of mismatch between needs and means – and identification and recommendations for gap closing measures.
- Inclusion of economic assessment and HSE-conformance as required in order to ensure that the prerequisites for a subsequent demonstration project(s) are at hand.
To address those different points and achieve the objectives as listed above, COACH has been organized in five workpackages (WP1 to WP5). The first four being co-led by an European and a Chinese partner in order to ensure and strengthen the communication and the cooperation between China and Europe. These workpackages are entitled as such :
- WP1 (co-leaders: IFP/Tsinghua University): Knowledge Sharing and Capacity Building
- WP2 (co-leaders: SINTEF-ER/TPRI): Capture Technologies
- WP3 (co-leaders: GEUS/Tsinghua University): Geological Storage and Large Scale Use of CO2
- WP4 (co-leaders: BP/ACCA21-MOST): Recommendations and Guidelines for Implementation
- WP5 (leader: IFP) : Project Management
- WP6 (leader: IFP) : Overview, monitoring & reporting for MoU activities