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ABB drives CCS progress by adding subsurface modelling to its digital twin

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

ABB collaborates with Computer Modelling Group on subsurface simulation to deliver complete end-to-end carbon capture and storage (CCS) model

ABB has signed a partnership with Canadian-based Computer Modelling Group (CMG) - a global simulation technology company that has been involved in carbon capture for over 20 years - to incorporate subsurface modelling into their existing digital twin technology for commercial carbon capture and storage (CCS) operations.

Being able to simulate scenarios at every stage of the captured carbon dioxide's journey from surface to underground - whether to subsea or land aquifers - reduces risks and saves costs by allowing operators to test options in a virtual setting.

With this collaboration, ABB will use its Ability OPTIMAX® energy management system to integrate above ground digital twin technology with CMG's subsurface modelling, providing a full end-to-end solution.

'Capturing and storing carbon dioxide underground is a highly technical and challenging process. Being able to deliver proof of concept across the entire CCS process is crucial to accelerate adoption,' said Brandon Spencer, President of ABB Energy Industries. 'Without subsurface modelling, industry simply cannot calculate the cost or manage the risks, which is crucial if we are to scale the CCS market to the extent required to support decarbonization of industry and emissions reductions in line with the Paris Accord.'

Subsurface modelling enables businesses to assess risks against various operating scenarios. These risks include losses or leakage often caused by unexpected physical and chemical reactions underground between the carbon dioxide, water, rocks and cement, or technical faults such as wellbore failure caused by salt precipitation.

'This partnership brings together two powerful technologies to develop a product to support the intelligent, real-time operational decision making required to make carbon storage a success at scale,' said Pramod Jain, CEO of CMG. 'Advanced subsurface modelling is necessary to assess and monitor risks of CO2 injection against various operating scenarios and is critical to the safety, feasibility and scaling of carbon capture and storage projects. We are pleased to partner with ABB, a global leader in innovation, to provide our industry leading, subsurface simulation capabilities to their enhanced digital twin technology.'

In its updated Net Zero Roadmap, the International Energy Agency[1] highlights CCS as a key contributor to reaching net zero emissions targets, but stresses that rapid progress is needed. Although the project pipeline offers a positive outlook, with CCS projects tripling in 2021 and nearly doubling again since, CCS still represents a small percentage of all decarbonization technologies deployed. For countries to achieve their net-zero commitments, uptake by industry needs to grow 120-fold by 2050 but if successful, CCS alone could be responsible for reducing global industrial carbon emissions by 45 percent, according to McKinsey & Company[2].

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