GHGT-15: Day 4 Plenary: Update on CCS in China


By Keith Burnard

18 March 2021

With an installed capacity of around 200 GW, the China Huaneng Group (CHNG) is the largest power group in China and, in fact, in the world. Dr. Xu Shisen, who briefed attendees on some of China’s extensive range of CCUS-related activities, past and present, is Chairman of CHNG’s Clean Energy Research Institute.

Dr. Xu began by reminding listeners of President Xi’s recent announcement that China will aim to hit peak emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. To achieve these ambitious and challenging targets, it is recognised in China that CCUS, together with a range of other technologies, will make an essential contribution.

Today, Dr. Xu said, there were some 25 CCUS projects operating in China, deploying the full range of capture technologies – pre-combustion, post-combustion and oxy-combustion. Many of China’s leading power utilities and O&G companies were now engaged to greater or lesser degrees in CCUS activities. Apart from the China Huaneng Group (CHNG), others engaged in various aspects of CCUS include the China Energy Investment Corporation with its focus on storage, and the O&G companies Sinopec, Petrochem and Yangchang Petroleum International with their efforts on storage and EOR.

Dr. Xu went on to describe in a little more detail some of the highlights in CHNG’s embrace of CCUS, which encompasses R&D, pilot-scale testing and demonstration. At CERI and its various pilot and demonstration facilities, he said, CHNG is engaged in system integration and the development of various capture technologies, including slurry-based absorbents and biphasic solvents. At larger scale, however, China has continued to make important headway.

In 2008, the first demonstration of post-combustion capture was demonstrated on a side-stream from a coal-fired cogeneration plant located in Beijing. Capturing 3000 tpa, the CO2 was used in the food and drinks industry.

In 2009, the design was scaled up to 120,000 tpa at the Shidongkou coal-fired plant in Shanghai. Operating at a capture rate of 85%, with an energy consumption of 2.7 GJ/t CO2, this was the largest operating CCS facility in the world until 2014.

In 2013, post-combustion capture was demonstrated on a gas-fired pilot plant in Beijing, capturing 1000 tpa CO2.

In 2016, this was followed up with the demonstration of pre-combustion capture on a 30 MWth IGCC plant at Tianjin. Up to 100,000 tpa was captured at the plant, with an energy consumption of < 2.3 GJ/t.

CHNG is a board member of the China Technology Strategic Alliance for CO2 Capture, Utilization and Storage Technology Innovation (CTSA-CCUS); its membership includes the major power and O&G companies and academia, with state involvement via the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. The CTSA-CCUS acts as a major body for both domestic and international cooperation, involving cooperation with Japan, the United States, Korea and Australia, amongst others.

Dr. Xu said that China’s plans to continue its focus on CCUS includes further work on post-combustion and pre-combustion capture, EOR and aquifer storage, and on large-scale demonstration. 

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