Norway to launch ‘milestone’ carbon capture and storage project

The ‘Longship’ project will lead to emission cuts, and facilitate development of new technology and new jobs, says Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

The Longship project comprises funding for, among other initiatives, transport and storage project Northern Lights, a joint project between Equinor, Shell and Total. The Northern Lights project will transport liquid CO2 from capture facilities to a terminal at Øygarden in Vestland County. From there, CO2 will be pumped through pipelines to a reservoir beneath the sea bottom.

‘For Longship to be a successful climate project for the future, other countries also have to start using this technology,’ said Solberg. ‘This is one of the reasons why our funding is conditional on others contributing financially as well.’

The Norwegian government is proposing to first implement carbon capture at cement manufacturer Norcem’s factory in Brevik. In addition, the government also intends to fund Fortum Oslo Varme’s waste incineration facility in Oslo, ‘providing that the project secures sufficient own funding as well as funding from the EU or other sources.’

Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru, said: ‘Building bit by bit in collaboration with the industry has been important to us in order to be confident that the project is feasible. This approach has worked well, and we now have a decision basis. Longship involves building new infrastructure, and we are preparing the ground for connecting other carbon capture facilities to a carbon storage facility in Norway. This approach is a climate policy that works.’

Bru added: ‘Longship is the greatest climate project in Norwegian industry ever. We will cut emissions, not progress.’

The Longship project is expected to complement Norway’s ambitions aim of cutting domestic emissions by 50%-55% by 2030.

Nevertheless, the Norwegian government also alluded to the economic ‘risks’ associated with Longship, such as the technical integration of the different parts of the project, the scope of following projects and necessary support schemes for such projects from the EU and individual countries.

The total investments in the Longship are estimated at NOK 17.1 billion ($1.83 billion). This includes both Norcem, Fortum Oslo Varme as well as Northern Lights. The operating costs for ten years of operation are estimated at NOK 8 billion ($857 million). The total cost estimate is NOK 25.1 billion ($2.69 billion). Longship will receive state aid in accordance with negotiated agreements. The state’s part of these costs is estimated at NOK 16.8 billion ($1.80 billion).

Rhys Berry

Rhys Berry