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Shell Weighs Green Project


DECEMBER 8, 2008

LONDON — Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Dutch utility Essent NV said Monday they have agreed to study the feasibility of a 1,000-megawatt power plant in the Netherlands from which carbon-dioxide emissions would be captured and stored underground.

The plant would convert coal or solid biomass to synthetic gas, from which the CO2 would be extracted.

Many companies are planning projects to demonstrate the feasibility of capturing the CO2 emissions from power plants in order to meet European Union targets for emission reductions.

However, the process is expensive and any financial incentive from the carbon Emissions Trading System has diminished as the price of CO2 allowances has fallen by half since the summer amid the global financial crisis.

Shell and Essent said the project is likely to need some kind of subsidy.

“Dutch and European government support, financial and regulatory, will be indispensable for realizing pioneering projects like the one announced today,” the companies said in a joint statement.

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