The Center Party overrides its own national assembly decision. – E24

Two weeks ago, SP’s national meeting said no to the electrification of Melkøya. On Thursday, they voted against a proposal to the same effect in the energy and environment committee.

Storting representative Ole André Myhrvold from the Center Party sits on the energy and environment committee at the Storting. On Thursday, he voted against stopping the electrification of Melkøya.

29. mars

Updated just now

– The Center Party should apologize to electricity customers and its own grassroots, because both have been overrun by the party centrally, writes the parliamentary representative from the FRP, Terje Halleland, in an SMS.

On Thursday, SP’s representatives in the energy and environment committee at the Storting voted down proposals from both Rødt and Frp not to electrify Equinor’s gas plant on Melkøya in Finnmark.

They did the same with a number of proposals from Rødt and Venstre to investigate carbon capture and storage as alternatives on Melkøya.

Went against the national meeting

The question of electrification of Melkøya with power from shore has created a great debate both between and within several parties.

The Center Party’s national meeting took place the majority in to stop electrification.

Nevertheless, the proposal for precisely this was voted down by SP’s representatives.

– I understand that the government takes time to process Equnior’s application. It should still not prevent Sp in the Storting from following up on its own national assembly decision, showing direction in the matter and supporting Frp’s proposal to stop the electrification of Melkøya, says Halleland.

Storting representative Ole André Myhrvold (Sp) explains this by saying that the project is being considered by the Ministry of Oil and Energy.

– This is work that is ongoing in government, and we are following up on our national assembly decision in that process. We have to do thorough and good work, and are not going to short-circuit the process by voting for the opposition’s more or less random proposals in the Storting.

– Equinor’s figures are not credible

An alternative to electrification from land is carbon capture and storage. Equinor has rejected this option, because they believe it will cost between NOK 4,500-6,000 per tonnes of CO₂ captured.

Last week, E24 wrote that both researchers and suppliers believe the oil company is completely wrong with its calculations.

Several in the opposition, including Storting representative Ola Elvestuen (V), demand that the government review Equinor’s figures.

– These figures from Equinor are not credible.

Former climate and environment minister from the Liberal Party, Ola Elvestuen, demands that Equinor do a new calculation for carbon capture and storage on Melkøya.

Spokesperson for Equinor, Gisle Ledel Johannessen, says their assessments are based on first-hand knowledge of the LNG plant on Melkøya.

– We have worked with studies, analyzes and project development on Melkøya for many years. CCS was chosen because of its high complexity, high costs, risk of overruns, area challenges and long shutdown time, he says.

Equinor is to cut emissions at its gas plant on Melkøya. But how? The question causes great debate.

Secret numbers

Few know how Equinor reaches its conclusion. The report they use as a basis is not public.

– Nobody understands why Equinor has such high costs. And it’s also not possible to understand, because nobody knows what numbers they have, says Elvestuen.

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Reindriftssame: – Do we really have to destroy so much to electrify Melkøya

Elvestuen believes that it looks like Equinor is withholding information on purpose.

– It appears as if they are trying to ignore an alternative, so that no one will take a closer look at it. And it doesn’t work. This is a decision that affects the power situation in the whole of Northern Norway. Then we must demand that it be taken on a credible decision-making basis, he says.

Asking questions

Storting representative for SV, Lars Haltbrekken, votes in.

– There is every reason to question the calculations Equinor has made. We must get a proper investigation into CO₂ capture and storage.

Equinor’s Ledel Johannessen responds to the criticism:

– In line with normal practice, on behalf of the partners in Snøhvit, we have submitted a plan to the authorities to invest in a significant upgrade of Hammerfest LNG. The plan that the authorities will decide on is the result of many years of project maturation where CCS has also been considered to cut emissions.

Polluters must pay

Sofie Marhaug (R) is behind several proposals that were considered in the committee. She reacts to Equinor saying that CCS is too expensive. She believes they must pay to cut their own emissions.

– If we electrify Melkøya with power from land, it is not polluters who pay. Then it is the community that pays in the form of network expansion with major natural interventions and in the form of all possible business players being refused connection to the power grid.

Sofie Marhaug from Rødt will fight against the electrification of Melkøya.

Voted against outsourcing

In addition to the proposal to stop the electrification of Melkøya, the committee dealt with several proposals on CCS and offshore wind in connection with Melkøya. A proposal from the Conservative Party to ask the government to consider CCS was close to getting a majority, but the FRP voted against it.

The Center Party’s Myhrvold says the party supports making a new investigation.

– We must have openness to these processes, so that the communities that work with this can have the opportunity to provide quality-assured analyses, and the politicians can make good decisions.

Nevertheless, SP’s representatives voted against a proposal to this effect in the committee.

Myhrvold also says they believe electrification must be done with offshore wind, but voted against a proposal from the Conservative Party on this.

Will not use own technology

Both Marhaug (R) and Elvestuen (V) react to Norway and Equinor becoming “world champions” in carbon capture and storage, while the oil industry does not want to adopt the technology.

Equinor is central to the work to expand the opportunities to store carbon on the Norwegian continental shelf. Here from the Northern Lights project in Øygarden in Western Norway.

– It is a terribly bad signal to send out to the world. That it is so expensive that on Melkøya it is not even considered as an alternative. It is a poor signal about Norwegian competence, says Elvestuen.

– It is actually quite hypocritical, says Marhaug.

Read on E24+

Bill.mrk.: Has storage space for quantities of CO₂, needs customers

In an earlier version of this article, we wrote that the government voted on a proposal to stop electrification that came from the Frp. The correct thing is that both Rødt and Frp had submitted proposals for this. We have also added that the proposals on CCS came from Red and Left. The case was corrected on 30.03.23 at 13.46.

In an earlier version of this article it was stated that “… Sps representatives in the energy and environment committee at the Storting (voted) down proposals from both Rødt and Frp to electrify Equinor’s gas plant on Melkøya in Finnmark.”. The correct thing is that they voted down a publisher “not to electrify Equinor’s gas plant”. The correction was made on 31 March 2023 at 9.25.