Dutch utility Nuon, which Swedish energy group Vattenfall is partially buying, said on Thursday it would start building a test carbon-capture facility at one of its power plants in the Netherlands.

Construction on the installation, at a plant in Buggenum, in the southeast of the country, would start before the summer and it would be operational in the second half of 2010, Nuon said in a statement.

Capture and storage of CO2 is not yet technically or commercially viable, but if it becomes so, it would cut the quantity of the greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere as a result of fossil-fuel power generation by burying it underground.

The trial at Buggenum will take about two years and cost about 40 million euros ($53 million). Nuon said it would be used to gain experience for large-scale CO2 capture at the Magnum power plant it wants to build in the port of Eemshaven.

The firm plans to build the multi-fuel plant at the seaport in northeastern Netherlands, but construction has been held up due to problems with permits after environmental groups opposed the project.

Vattenfall said in February it would buy Nuon's production and supply arm for 10.3 billion euros ($13.68 billion).