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Norway Approves Funding CO2 Transport and Offshore Storage Project

CO2 transport and storage in Norway
Illustration of the Northern Lights project to transport and store CO2

By The Maritime Executive 12-15-2020 04:17:48

The Norwegian Government today approved the final funding decision to proceed with the a first of its kind CO2 transport and storage project known as Norther Lights. Led by Equinor, Shell and Total, the Northern Lights is the transport and storage component of a larger Norwegian project, Longship, for carbon capture and storage, which many believe is essential if Europe is to achieve its carbon neutrality targets.

“Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is important to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. "Longship" is the largest climate project ever in the Norwegian industry and will contribute substantially to the development of CCS as an efficient mitigation measure. Working together with the industry, the step-by-step approach has confirmed that the project is feasible. I want to thank the Northern Lights partners Equinor, Shell and Total - and I am looking forward to our continued cooperation,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru.

According to the three companies, Northern Lights will be infrastructure enabling transport of CO2 from industrial capture sites to a terminal in Øygarden for intermediate storage before being transported by pipeline for permanent storage in a reservoir 2600 meters under the seabed.

“The Norwegian government’s initiative and support for what will be the world’s first open-source CO2, transport and storage project shows real vision and commitment. Northern Lights is designed to provide a service to industrial emitters who can now take action on emissions that can’t be avoided. This is key to bringing real progress towards tackling climate change. Shell will play our part in making this a reality,” says Shell CEO Ben van Beurden.

The Northern Lights project includes the development and operation of CO2 transport and storage facilities, open to third parties. It will be the first cross-border, open-source CO2 transport and storage infrastructure network and offers European industrial emitters the opportunity to store their CO2 safely and permanently underground. 

“Northern Lights is a true pioneering project and the first of its kind offering a solution to cut emissions from industrial sources in Norway and Europe. We are ready to start realizing this project that will be an important part of the climate solution. I want to thank the Norwegian government and for the broad political support in making this a reality. I am certain that we together with our partners and suppliers will make this project a success,” says Equinor CEO Anders Opedal.

Equinor, Shell and Total made a conditional investment decision on the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage project in May 2020. The project partners are now in the process of establishing a Joint Venture, (subject to merger clearance), which will be for all project activities, including business development.

“The development of the carbon capture and sequestration value chain is essential to decarbonize Europe's industries. We are a long-standing partner of Norway, a pioneer country which has more than 20 years of experience in CCS, and today we thank its government for making possible the final investment decision to develop Northern Lights. CCS is key to achieving carbon neutrality in Europe and is fully part of our Climate Ambition to get to net zero emissions by 2050,” says Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total.

Phase one of the project will be completed mid-2024 with a capacity of up to 1.5 million tons of CO2 per year.