The European Union is prepared in principle to provide a subsidy for the Porthos project on storage of CO2 from industry in Antwerp, Ghent, Zeeland and Rotterdam beneath the North Sea. This is according to the list of energy projects that the European Parliament approved on Wednesday, where the project received ‘Project of Common Interest’ (PCI) status.
The Porthos project, in preparation in Rotterdam, will enable various companies to supply CO2 to a transport pipeline that runs straight through the port area.
The CO2 will be transported via this pipeline to an empty gas field beneath the North Sea for permanent storage.
The capture and storage of CO2 (Carbon Capture and Storage, CCS) is one of the tracks in the transition towards a climate-neutral industry by 2050, as it reduces CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
Currently, the port management (North Sea Port, Port of Antwerp and the Port of Rotterdam Authority), under the name ‘CO2 TransPorts’, are jointly investigating how the infrastructure between the ports should look.
The PCI status came as the EU sees CCS as an important tool in combating climate change and in the European Green Deal as a means to combat climate change.
In 2020, the three ports can apply for a subsidy from a European fund for infrastructure, the ‘Connecting Europe Facility’.
The PCI status is valid for two years (2020 and 2021). After this, the companies must submit a new application.
Industry in the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and North Sea Port are already connected by various pipelines.
Pipelines are a reliable, safe and environmentally friendly means of transport.
The refineries in Antwerp and Vlissingen have been obtaining crude oil by pipeline from Rotterdam for years.
In addition to CO2 TransPorts, Port of Antwerp also participated in another PCI application, Northern Lights.
This groups a number of European industrial clusters that want to explore the possibilities for CO2 transport by ship to Norway.
There, the Northern Lights consortium (Equinor, Shell and Total) aims to develop offshore CO2 storage capacity by 2023.
This link with two Projects of Common Interest allows the local Antwerp partnership of 8 leading parties on the port platform to study the feasibility of the various transport scenarios in more detail in the coming months.