Minister appoints a working group to secure the legal environment of the Carbfix process

29.04.2020

The Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, has appointed a working group to ensure that the Carbfix process complies with the European Directive on Carbon Capture and Storage, and will furthermore be included in the EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The working group will draft a bill of law on the subject.

Carbfix was also one of the topics at a meeting between the Prime Minister, Ms. Katrín Jakobsdóttir, and Ursula Von der Leyen the President of the European Commission, on April 6th

Last year, a Letter of Intent was signed between the Icelandic government, the aluminium and silicon industry in Iceland, and Reykjavik Energy with the aim to thoroughly investigate whether the CarbFix process can become a viable option, both technically and financially, to safely store CO2 emissions from large emitters in Iceland.

The working group is tasked with drafting a bill of law aiming to ensure that CO2 storage via the Carbfix process complies with EU legislation and is included in the EU ETS. The EU ETS applies primarily to the aluminium and silicon industry in Iceland and including Carbfix would be a powerful incentive for these companies for utilising the process.

The following individuals have been appointed to the working group:

  • Helga Jónsdóttir, head of the working group, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Íris Bjargmundsdóttir, councillor in Brussels for the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Íris Lind Sæmundsdóttir legal advisor, appointed by Reykjavik Energy
  • Hera Guðlaugsdóttir specialist, appointed by the Environment Agency
  • Helga Rut Arnardóttir lawyer, appointed by the Environment Agency

The Carbfix process captures and permanently disposes of CO2 from emissions, instead of it being released into the atmosphere. Water with dissolved CO2 - a soda-water of sorts – is injected into subsurface favorable rock formations where natural processes permanently transform the CO2 into rock. Reykjavík Energy has led the development of Carbfix since 2007 in collaboration with the University of Iceland as well as several foreign universities and research institutes. ON Power has applied the Carbfix process to significantly reduce CO2 and H2S emissions from the Hellisheiði Power Plant since 2014. As a result of long-term, industrial scale applications at the power plant, the Carbfix process has been proven to be an economic and environmentally friendly solution for the permanent underground mineral storage of these gases. Carbfix has been operated as an independent subsidiary of Reykjavík Energy since January 2020.