Press release | 2010-02-08 | 15:10 PM

CCS is moving forward

Two large components arrived today at the pilot plant for CO2 capture in Buggenum, the Netherlands. Through its subsidiary Nuon, Vattenfall is now actively working with development of three different carbon capture technologies.  

Important parts of the CO2 capture pilot are put into place today. The pilot is located at the Willem Alexander power plant in Buggenum and will start up operations in August of 2010. The first test results will be available in December.  

The knowledge and experience gained in the pilot in Buggenum will support further development and implementation at future demonstration plants and commercial concepts. For example, it will support the planned facility Nuon Magnum, a power plant in the North of the Netherlands. Nuon Magnum is based on the so-called multi-fuel concept, with gasification technology that can generate electricity from gas, coal and biomass. Three blocks of natural gas combined cycle will be built initially, with a second phase adding coal gasification, co-firing of biomass and pre-combustion capture of CO2 for a flexible fuel setup. The first phase is planned to be operational in 2013.  

The construction of the CO2 capture pilot in Buggenum is a positive signal that development of CCS is moving forward throughout Europe. Using a technology called Pre-combustion in Buggenum, Vattenfall and Nuon will soon be testing three different technologies, the other two being Oxyfuel and Post-combustion.  


The Willem Alexander plant in Buggenum is a 253 MW gasification plant, which makes it an ideal location to test pre-combustion capture of carbon dioxide. Coal is the main fuel, but these days biomass is co-gasified on a large scale.  

In coal gasification, fuel is first transformed into a combustible gas known as synthesis gas. This gas is then cleaned and desulphurised. Pre-combustion capture technology allows us to also filter out CO2 from the gas. The cleaned gas, rich in hydrogen, is combusted in the plant to generate electricity.  

By carrying out the pilot programme at Buggenum, Nuon aims to make pre-combustion CO2 capture suitable for the energy sector and to optimise the process.  

Vattenfall’s other CCS development  

Vattenfall and NUON started their CCS programmes in the first years after 2000 and have both run parallel tracks. By merging mid 2009, both companies have now joined forces also regarding developing and demonstrating CCS technology.  

At Vattenfall, a number of test rigs, EU projects and joint efforts at different pilots and research stations around the world have given us great knowledge and experience. It has also secured the company’s belief that CCS is a viable concept and that CCS is absolutely necessary to quickly start reducing global CO2 levels.  

Vattenfall has built a 30 MW pilot plant for carbon dioxide capture at the lignite-fired power plant at Schwarze Pumpe, Germany. The plant was inaugurated in 2008, and since then tests are performed to evaluate the technology of Oxyfuel combustion before building a larger scale demonstration plant.  

Next step will be a full-scale demonstration plant at Jänschwalde in Germany. The Jänschwalde demo will feature both Oxyfuel and the third technology; Post-Combustion.      


CCS – Carbon Capture and Storage – is the concept of separating CO2 from industrial emissions, for permanent underground storage.  

Technologies for CO2 capture    

There are three principal ways to capture CO2 produced in large power plants:

  • Oxyfuel combustion, where fuel is combusted in oxygen instead of air 
  • Postcombustion, where CO2 is removed from the flue gas 
  • Precombustion, where carbon is removed from the fuel before combustion  

For information about the pilot in Buggenum: 

For information on CCS and the different technologies: 

A press kit with information, pictures and illustrations is also available:   

For further information, please contact:
Nuon press office:, telephone: +31 (0) 20 597 42 00
Staffan Görtz, telephone: +46 (0)70 698 46 27
Information contact for CCS: staffan.gö    

From Vattenfall's Press Office, telephone: +46 8 739 50 10,