EU Grants Funding to Antwerp’s Innovative CO2 Reduction Project

Pot of Antwerp receives EU funding for carbon capture project
Port of Antwerp (file photo)

Published Oct 8, 2020 5:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Port of Antwerp, working in conjunction with seven leading chemical and energy companies, has been investigating the development of a CO2 infrastructure focused on capturing CO2 emissions. 

Named Antwerp@C, the goal of the project’s partners to keep CO2 out of the atmosphere through applications for capturing and utilizing or storing CO2, all within a relatively short time and at reasonable costs. The consortium reports that its ambition is to reduce the CO2 emissions within the port, measured at 18.65 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, potentially by half between now and 2030.

The project has reached an important milestone with the EU approving two applications for funding to carry out studies. The consortium submitted two applications for EU funding, to carry out studies for a liquid CO2 Export Terminal, a CO2 backbone within the Port of Antwerp, and a CO2 cross border pipeline to connect to the Netherlands.

“The time is now to make the transition towards a carbon-neutral economy. Europe leads the way on a global stage,” said Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp. “With Antwerp@C, the port of Antwerp has the key to realize an innovative cross-border CCUS-project, a first of a kind in its concept and scale. We are proud to receive the necessary financial support for the study phase, as this project will contribute to the Flemish, Belgian and European climate goals and to the increased EU 2030 targets for emission reduction to at least 55 percent.”

Work began on the project in late 2019 with the consortium pursuing two pathways for the cross-border CO2 transport infrastructure. One pursues the transport via an onshore pipeline to Rotterdam while the other would transport the captured CO2 by ship to North-West Europe.  The partners in the project are Air Liquide, BASF, Borealis, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Fluxys, Port of Antwerp, and Total.

The Antwerp@C was awarded approximately €9 million ($10.5 million) as a Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grant to pursue the detailed studies. The partners noted that broad support, and especially financial support, by the EU, the Belgian Federal Government, and the Flemish Government is essential to ensure the success of the project. 

They said the CEF award is a positive step to support CCS (Carbon Capture & Storage) as a CO2 abatement technology for the industry in the Port of Antwerp. In addition to this first step, a number of expression of interest applications are currently being prepared by the consortium partners for submission under the European Innovation Fund that will be a key enabler to support the development of the entire CCS value chain from capture to storage.

According to the Port of Antwerp, this innovative cross-border CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization & Storage) project would be among the first and world’s largest multimodal open access CO2 export infrastructure.