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The Institute Facilitated a Capacity Building Working Visit for CCS Stakeholders in Europe

19th April 2023

Between the 27th and 31st of March 2023, the Institute, in collaboration with Heidelberg Materials, organised and facilitated a capacity building working visit of regulators, policymakers and experts involved in developing CCS projects in Bulgaria and Romania to the Netherlands and Norway. The working visit aimed to foster collaboration and encourage knowledge sharing on CO2 capture, transport and storage technologies, and related policies and regulations.

The delegation taking part in the visit consisted of experts from key Bulgarian and Romanian statutory bodies who will be directly involved in the environmental planning and permitting process of CCS projects in those countries, and are interested in collaborating with relevant business stakeholders and policymakers active at national, regional and EU level.

As a result of the leading role played by the Netherlands and Norway in the development of CCS across Europe, the Institute invited high-level representatives of the Dutch and Norwegian governments, as well as CCS industry leaders active in those countries, to share their experience and expertise with the delegation.

Members of the delegation had the chance to take part in insightful conversations and hear experts from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, EBN, Haskoning DHV, Gassnova, Equinor and the Global CCS Institute unpacking several key CCS topics, including:

  • Current CCS projects in Europe;
  • The need for CCS to reach the goals set in the Paris Agreement;
  • Lessons learned from CO2 transport and storage regulations and steps forward to fill current gaps;
  • Knowledge and expertise sharing from project developers in the Netherlands and Norway.

In addition, specific attention was given to the ANRAV project in Bulgaria, which has the potential to become a flagship CCS project for the cement industry in Eastern Europe. As the project is in the development phase, many discussions focused on specific aspects of the CO2 storage licensing application process and content; pipeline permits; relevant national, EC and international laws; MRV provisions; Environmental Impact Assessment requirements and stakeholder mapping.

The meeting discussions were also complemented by an on-site visit to the Northern Lights project in Øygarden, located on the Norwegian coast of the North Sea.

Thanks to this knowledge sharing initiative, the members of the delegation were able to improve their understanding of the main opportunities and challenges to consider during the planning and implementation of CCS projects.

With significant ongoing efforts undertaken by both the public and private sectors in Eastern Europe to improve the legislative and regulatory frameworks applying to CCS projects, the visit provided an excellent platform to discuss the barriers and policy gaps currently existing in Bulgaria and Romania, and develop solutions to overcome them in a timely manner.

Finally, the visit also demonstrated that it is important to bring together industry, government institutions and relevant stakeholders in order to share lessons learned, along with good practices that can further accelerate the widescale development of CCS.

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