Front End Engineering Design Study for Carbon Capture at a Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Plant in California
11 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 25, 2021
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), California Resources Corporation (CRC), and Fluor Corporation are conducting a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study to determine the technical and economic feasibility of a retrofit, post-combustion, carbon capture technology on a commercially operating, natural gas-fired, combined cycle (NGCC) power plant in California. Fluor’s Econamine FG PlusSM (EFG+) process is being designed to capture CO2 from the flue gas produced by CRC’s 550 MWe Elk Hills Power Plant (EHPP), a NGCC unit located in the Elk Hills Oil Field near Tupman, Kern County, California. The design basis is to route about 79% of the flue to Fluor’s EFG+ plant with the remaining 21% vented as normal through the stack. Steam is supplied to the capture plant from a gas-fired package boiler whose flue gas is combined with the EHPP flue gas as it’s routed to the EFG+ process. The EFG+ process then captures 90% of the total combined inlet CO2. Overall, about 4,000 tonne (t) CO2/day will be captured and delivered at 97+ mol% purity and 160 bar pressure for use by CRC for CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) or CO2 storage in nearby reservoirs.
CRC is one of the largest oil producers in California (132,000 barrels oil equivalent/day) and is pursuing CO2-EOR to increase oil output from California’s Elk Hills field. EHPP is unique in that CRC owns and operates the NGCC power plant, provides its natural gas fuel supply, uses much of its steam and electrical output, and will use the captured CO2 for either CO2 enhanced oil recovery or CO2 storage. The regulatory and tax incentives at the California State level and at the U.S. Federal level combined with the use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery by CRC, provide a significant commercial interest in using the captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery in California’s Elk Hills region. Permitting work around CCS with EOR in Elk Hills was initiated in 2010, including an expansive Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) plan. Regulatory outreach and execution for the current CCS-EOR project were initiated in early 2018 via direct engagement with multiple state and federal agencies.
Assuming the FEED study results are favourable, this project could lead to deployment of one of the world’s largest carbon capture processes on a power plant – coal- or gas-fired.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation