Norway’s Flagship CCS Project Northern Lights Receives Green Light by Project Partners
20th May 2020
Oslo, Norway – The Global CCS Institute has welcomed the positive investment decision by project partners Equinor, Shell, and Total to move ahead Norway’s flagship CO2 transport and storage project, Northern Lights. The project has now been handed over to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for Government approval.
“This positive decision is not only a step in the right direction for CCS but also pushes ahead an urgently needed solution for European industrial emissions”, said Brad Page, CEO, Global CCS Institute. “CCS is not only an essential climate mitigation technology but also a driver of economic growth and employment” he added, noting the project will generate significant number of jobs for Norwegian industry, with the projects partners estimating 57 percent of the investment going to Norwegian contractors.
The project, which is run by Equinor in partnership with Shell and Total, will provide CO2 storage as part of the Full-Scale CCS project in Norway. The project will be developed in stages, with phase one developing the infrastructure to transport, inject and store up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2024. It will provide the necessary infrastructure for the first large-scale CO2 capture in the waste-to-energy and cement industries, both of which are so far largely overlooked in climate efforts but whose decarbonization is crucial. Cement production alone produces eight per cent of global CO2 emissions, while waste is becoming a growing environmental problem.
“The FID by the Government of Norway is expected later this year and will be among the last steps before the project can break ground. We are, of course, hoping for a green light from the Government so this important flagship project can be built as a successful example of leveraging public-private partnerships for innovative decarbonisation through CCS. This project is of utmost global importance”, said Page.
Late 2019, a test well was drilled, and suitability of the rock formation was confirmed in March 2020. Last year, seven companies from various European industries joined the Full-Scale project via memoranda of understanding (MoUs). A major hurdle posed by the London Protocol, preventing the cross-border transport and export of CO2 for geologic storage offshore, was overcome in October. Northern Lights was also designated a Project of Common Interest (PCI) by the European Union (EU).
Northern Lights, which could eventually capture and store up to 5 million tonnes of CO2, will boost European CCS efforts and accelerate progress towards meeting Europe’s climate neutrality goals. It is envisioned to become an offshore CO2 storage hub for Europe unlocking investment in carbon mitigation initiatives across the continent.
Currently, there are 19 CCS operating CCS facilities globally. A further 32, including the Northern Lights Project, are in various stages of development.
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About the Global CCS Institute: The Global CCS Institute is an international think tank whose mission is to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS), a vital technology to tackle climate change and provide energy security. For more information, visit www.globalccsinstitute.com