Placing a CHP plant at Skogn is highly advantageous from an environmental point of view. Skogn is close to the offshore gas fields, and the plant will be integrated with a large industrial user of electric power and heat. This will result in high efficiency and low losses in transmission of gas and energy.
In the future, Norske Skog's paper mill can utilise up to 1 TWh of heat from the CHP plant annually. Utilisation is stable, all year round, and yields an energy efficiency, on an annual basis, of about 67%. That is among the highest in the world for generating plants of this size. IMN will implement measures to compensate for its own CO2 emissions. The development will take place within the framework of the international climate protocol (the Kyoto agreement). This will mean that global CO2 emissions can be reduced. Natural gas produces far lower emissions than other fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Norway is today a large exporter of natural gas, but normally a net importer of electricity. Much of the electricity import is generated by coal-fired power plants of low efficiency. An efficient CHP plant at Skogn will reduce imports of electricity to Norway and lead to a reduction in global emissions of CO2.
IMN's plans for a cogen plant at Skogn has won strong political support, both regionally and nationally in Norway. This is due both to the positive industrial spin-off which the project will have in the region, and the importance in reducing Norwegian imports of electricity. There is a majority in the Norwegian Parliament in favour of building gas-fired power plants in Norway; and in November 2000 IMN was granted a licence to build and operate the power plant. The permits were finally confirmed in October 2001.