Government proposal has shipping element to create flexibility and encourage international CO2 imports
Norway is formally set to fund a world first major carbon capture and storage system that will see it try and reuse depleted oil and gas infrastructure and underground wells.
The proposal will begin as a project that has two distinct units, one (Longship) will see government funding of projects to capture Norwegian CO2 emissions from a local cement factory and from the communal heating system for the capital city, Oslo. The second part (Northern Lights) will be the shipping leg where liquified CO2 is shipped to a depot where it can be pumped into underground storage under the North Sea. In total the Norwegian government says the project will cost about NKr25.1bn.
The Northern Lights shipping leg is a collaboration between energy groups Equinor, Shell and Total. The government believes that when running in its initial phases it will capture about 400,000 tonnes of CO2 a year from the flue gases of cement maker Norcem, and just as much from Oslo. However this will represent only a portion of what is available for storage under the proposed location that has been identified under the North Sea. At a press conference last week Prime Minister Erna Solberg suggested up to 100m tonnes could be stored in the inital site, and much more elsewhere.
“The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s CO2 Storage Atlas assumes that the Norwegian continental shelf has the capacity to effectively and safely store 1.25 billion tonnes of CO2. Its theoretical storage capacity is in the region of 80 billion tonnes of CO2. That is equivalent to 1,500 years of Norwegian emissions,” she said.
The project plan for the Longship and Northern Lights projects envisages CO2 gas being liquified and stored at the nearby Grenland Port in Brevik, where it will be loaded onboard vessels to be transported to Vestland and then pumped via pipeline and injected under the north Sea.
A second project involving CO2 emisisons from Oslo’s city heating system will begin on the condition it gains additional funding form outside Norway. It will also send CO2 via ship to the Vestland terminal where it will be pumped into subterranean formations about 2.6km under the North Sea bed.
The Government is prepared to provide NKr 3bn to Fortum Oslo Varme providing it secures other funding too.
The plan is for Northern Lights to be developed in two phases. The first phase is part of the Longship project and has an estimated capacity of 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year, over an operational period of 25 years. A potential second phase has been planned, with an estimated capacity of 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.