EU Commission recognises strategic importance of CCS projects

Oct 24 2017

The EU has adopted a draft list of four projects of interest in cross-border CO2 transport.

The European Zero Emissions Technology & Innovation Platform (ZEP) welcomed the adoption of the draft list of four Projects of Common Interest (PCI) in the area of cross-border CO2 transport by the High-Level Decision Making Body, which includes the following projects:

·         Statoil - CO2 cross border transport connections between a) emission sources in the Teesside industrial cluster; b) the Eemshaven area in the Netherlands and a storage site on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS)

·         Port of Rotterdam Authority – The Rotterdam Nucleus

·         Tees Valley Combined Authority – Teesside CO­2 Hub

·         Pale Blue Dot. – CO2 Sapling Transport Infrastructure Project

The four projects represent a major step forward for CCS in Europe and could signal the birth of a number of strategic European CCS hubs.

The Norwegian project is particularly important for the following reasons:

·         Norway is already a leader on CCS with the Sleipner project (that celebrated its 20th anniversary last year), the Snohvit project and the commitment to fund studies into developing CCS on three different industrial facilities. With the Statoil CO2 cross border transport project, Norway is developing a CCS portfolio that includes new and innovative CCS projects, which will generate vital knowledge that can be transferred between other sectors and other countries.

·         The proposed storage for the Statoil project contains significant capacity and provides a strategic asset that, combined with the possibility of a shipping solution for CO2 transport from other countries, could open up the option to support a nascent North Sea CCS network. This would not only drive necessary cost reductions in CCS, but would also enable cost-effective CO2 reduction for the key countries bordering the North Sea; including the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.

·         The Norwegian CCS portfolio with its broad application to industries such as cement, ammonia, waste-to-energy and power, demonstrates the importance of CCS to multiple industries. This is particularly relevant in light of the Paris Agreement goal to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2°C and the crucial role of CCS to meet this. For example, there are currently no cement or waste-to-energy CCS projects operating anywhere in the world, and the Norwegian projects would therefore represent internationally significant projects.

·         There are currently 21 CCS projects in operation or construction around the world. However, if CCS is to fulfil its role in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, a step change in deployment is required. European countries that are considering the role that CCS can play in their decarbonisation strategies will look to countries such as Norway. It is therefore vital that the Norwegian projects are successfully deployed as this will help build confidence that CCS is a safe and effective CO2 reduction solution that must be developed urgently across Europe.

Commenting on these developments, Dr. Graeme Sweeney, Chairman of ZEP, said, "It is encouraging to see that the draft list of four PCI’s in the area of cross-border CO2 transport has now been adopted. This is a real testament to the fact that European Member States are now getting behind CCS and taking concrete steps towards its deployment. It also represents a positive signal that the European Commission is recognising the strategic role of CCS in delivering low-carbon industrial zones in key European regions."

"The Norwegian Parliament is currently debating key budget decisions and within this it is expected that a funding announcement on the Norwegian CCS projects will be published imminently. A positive funding decision will be crucial to enable these projects to move forward, demonstrating the vital role of CCS to decarbonising the heat, energy-intensive, gas and refining sectors.”

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