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European chemical and energy companies investigate feasibility of CO2 infrastructure

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Dry Bulk,

Port of Antwerp is taking a step in the transition to a sustainable, lower emissions port. Eight companies in the port area have signed a collaboration agreement as a first move towards the possible development of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) infrastructure. The consortium will carry out a joint study into the economic and technical feasibility of such facilities. CCUS applications could make an important contribution towards achieving climate goals.

More impact through collaboration

Facing up to climate change and the role played by CO2 emissions demands innovative solutions. As the location of one of the largest energy and chemicals clusters in Europe, Port of Antwerp is a conveniently placed to foster collaboration between companies and take steps towards CO2 reduction.

To put this into practice, eight companies in the port area have joined forces. Air Liquide, BASF, Borealis, INEOS, ExxonMobil, Fluxys, Port of Antwerp and Total have signed a collaboration agreement to investigate the feasibility of facilities for CCUS in the port. These facilities would be of the ‘open access’ type, available to the entire industrial community in the port.

CCUS is seen as a viable avenue in the transition to a lower emissions port. The partners in the project believe that both applications can have an impact in the longer term and can make a useful contribution to achieving the energy and climate objectives at Flemish, Belgian and European level. If the proposals turn out to be technically and economically feasible, then development of such facilities could lead to reductions in CO2 emissions in the run-up to 2030.

Feasibility study and finance

In the first phase the partners will carry out detailed studies of the technical and economic feasibility of CO2 facilities to support CCUS. This analysis is expected to take around a year to complete. Financial support from Flanders, the Belgian federal government and the EU is necessary for further implementation of the project. One important part of this is preparation of subsidy applications.

International collaboration

The feasibility study will also investigate the possibilities for CO2 storage. Belgium does not have suitable geological formations for storing CO2 underground, and so international collaboration will be necessary. To support this international collaboration, Port of Antwerp and a number of other partners submitted two applications to the European Commission earlier this year for recognition as ‘projects of common interest’.

Both projects offer possibilities for investigating the development of cross border CO2 transport infrastructure, linking up respectively with Rotterdam (CO2 TransPorts project) and Norway (Northern Lights project). A decision on these applications is expected by the end of this year. In the context of the feasibility study the results of these applications will be taken into account and contacts with other CO2 storage initiatives will be sought so that robust concepts can be developed for the CO2 intensive companies in the region.

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