Port of Antwerp Works With Industry Partners on Carbon Storage

File image courtesy Port of Antwerp

Published Dec 19, 2019 8:26 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Port of Antwerp is working with seven major industrial companies - Air Liquide, BASF, Borealis, INEOS, ExxonMobil, Fluxys, and Total - on the potential development of joint CO2 infrastructure. The consortium will conduct a study of the technical and economic feasibility of CO2 infrastructure for Carbon Capture, Utilization & Storage (CCUS). This infrastructure would be open-access, much like a utility, and could be used by the entire industrial port community. 

The capture and storage of CO2 and the use of CO2 as a raw material for various applications are two high-potential options in the transition to low-carbon port operations. If feasible, the development of joint CO2 infrastructure could lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions in the run-up to 2030. 

“From our role as a community builder, we want to contribute to this in a concrete way. If this common infrastructure can be realized, it will benefit the entire industrial port community," said Jacques Vandermeiren, Port of Antwerp CEO.

In the first phase, the partners will examine the technical and economic feasibility of CO2 infrastructure in support of CCUS. The analysis is expected to take about one year. The consortium expects that broad financial support from the Flanders regional government, the Belgian government and the EU is essential for implementation of the project, and the study will include examining subsidy options. 

Unlike Norway, Belgium does not currently have a suitable site for storing CO2 offshore, so it will need international cooperation. Port of Antwerp and a number of partners have filed two applications for projects to be recognized by the European Commission as Projects of Common Interest. Both projects offer the opportunity to investigate the development of cross-border CO2 transport infrastructure, towards Rotterdam (CO2TransPorts project) and Norway (the Northern Lights project). A decision on these applications is expected by the end of this year. 

Two of the CO2 consortium partners, Fluxys and Port of Antwerp, are also part of a joint team examining the production and use of hydrogen as a fuel. Along with Deme, Engie, Exmar, the Port of Zeebrugge and WaterstofNet, they are conducting a joint analysis of the hydrogen import and transport chain, including sea and pipeline transport. 

“We want to give hydrogen as an energy carrier and as a basic element for chemistry and as fuel, and therefore commit ourselves as an active pioneer of the hydrogen economy," said Vandermeiren in November. "As Europe's largest integrated chemical cluster, we are an important link in this. We also look at cooperation with spearhead clusters and knowledge institutions and want to learn from this hydrogen coalition for our international ambitions."