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Project to Develop CO2 Carrier with Direct Injection Capabilities

CO2 carrier
Norway's Breeze Ship Design is developing with Equinor the carrier with direction injection capabilities (Breeze Ship Design)

Published Nov 21, 2022 1:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

Efforts to build the infrastructure for CO2 transport and storage are continuing with Equinor and Norwegian design firm Breeze Ship Design launching a collaboration to develop a CO2 carrier with direct offshore injection capabilities. Other efforts so far have focused on CO2 capture and transport moving the material for storage to a processing plant as opposed to direct injection.

“Equinor believes that the direct injection concept is an interesting way to implement ship-based transport and injection solutions for CO2. We need to make sure the technical risks are reduced to an acceptable level and that the business case is sound,” said Elisabeth Birkeland, VP for Carbon capture and storage solutions at Equinor.

Breeze Ship Design, which focuses its design efforts on environmental compliance with known and future rules and regulations, reports the key design drivers are safe loading, transport, and offshore injection of CO2 with as low emissions as possible. The vessel will be specialized for its trade with a cargo capacity of approximately 40,000 tons of CO2.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a key enabler in the energy transition to a low-carbon value chain. The concept is to capture carbon for industrial sites and other sites that produce CO2 emissions, including ships, and transport the carbon for storage in deep sea reservoirs that are suitable for permanent storage. Efforts so far have focused mostly on the transport aspects.

Equinor and Breeze envision a vessel that will operate in Northern Europe and Scandinavia transporting CO2 to discharge locations in the North Sea. Propulsion for the vessel will be based on ammonia dual fuel to provide green operations. The thrusters and propeller configuration of the vessel will be optimized for harsh weather connection and disconnection to an offshore STL buoy, and continuous high-pressure CO2 injection to subsea well formations.

“The project fits well with Breeze Ship Design’s strategy to be a leading design company accelerating the energy transition to low carbon shipping,” said Reinert Nordtveit, COO of Breeze Ship Design. “By combining our experience with offshore vessels and gas carriers we are confident we will be able to provide Equinor with novel solutions for their future investments in the CO2 value chain.” 

Breeze Ship Design has taken a leading role in several technology development projects driving the decarbonization of shipping. The company says it is currently involved in 10 to 15 zero/low emission ship design projects with dual fuel propulsion systems based on Ammonia, Hydrogen, Methanol, or other biofuels, in combination with novel combustion engines and fuel cell technology. 

Separately, another CO2 transport project that Equinor is participating in, marked a key milestone today. China’s Dalian Shipbuilding Industry (DSIC) started construction for two LNG-powered CO2 carriers that will be operated for Northern Lights, a joint venture between Equinor, Shell, and TotalEnergies to store CO2 off the coast of Norway. The shipyard conducted the ceremonial first steel cut for the vessels. Each ship will be approximately 427 feet long with a capacity to transport 7,500 cbm of CO2. The liquid CO2 will be transported in purpose-built pressurized cargo tanks to the Northern Lights receiving terminal in Øygarden in western Norway.