Aker says may pull plug on carbon capture project

OSLO Fri Nov 4, 2011 7:37am GMT

OSLO Nov 4 (Reuters) - Norway-based engineering company Aker Solutions said it may shut down a subsidiary that had tried to commercialise technology to capture carbon dioxide from coal- and gas-fired power stations, a Norwegian business daily said on Friday.

"The market is dead," Oeyvind Eriksen, the acting CEO of Aker Solutions, told the newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv, adding that shuttering the Aker Clean Carbon subsidiary was an option.

On Thursday Aker Solutions wrote off its 50-percent stake as a total loss, taking a third-quarter charge of 85 million Norwegian crowns ($15.1 million).

The subsiary's other 50-percent owner, Aker ASA, is likely to follow suit when it presents its third-quarter results on Monday, the newspaper said. Eriksen is the CEO there too.

Aker Clean Carbon was founded in 2007 to develop and market a technology using the chemical amine to strip carbon dioxide (CO2) from exhaust gasses.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg once called the company's plan to capture CO2 from a gas-fired plant at a refinery in Mongstad "Norway's moon landing", in a reference to the U.S. Apollo programme to reach the moon in the 1960s.

That project has suffered repeated delays and cost overruns. Aker Clean Carbon's other big project, with ScottishPower, was cancelled by the Scottish partner. ($1 = 5.608 Norwegian Krones) (Reporting by Oslo newsroom)

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