Equinor and Fluxys have agreed to develop a major infrastructure project for transporting carbon dioxide captured from industrial emitters in Belgium to safe storage sites in the Norwegian North Sea.
The offshore pipeline is planned to have a transport capacity of 20 million to 40 million tonnes per annum of CO2, meeting an emerging need for CCS from multiple European industrial players.
The project is in the feasibility stage, with an investment decision expected by 2025.
According to Norwegian energy giant Equinor, the project will encompass a 1000-kilometre export trunkline to transport CO2 for permanent storage under the seabed on the Norwegian continental shelf.
The offshore trunkline will connect in Zeebrugge to onshore CO2 transmission infrastructure built and operated by Belgian energy infrastructure group Fluxys.
Equinor is already operator of the Northern Lights project, which represents a major plank of the country’s ambitious plans for CCS, also known as the Longship project.
At full-scale, the Norwegian project includes capture of CO2 from industrial capture sources in the Oslofjord region and shipping of liquid CO2 from these industrial capture sites to an onshore terminal on the country's west coast.
From there, the liquefied CO2 will be transported by pipeline to an offshore storage location subsea in the North Sea, for permanent storage.
The joint initiative by Equinor and Fluxys aims to develop the CO2 infrastructure project ready for commissioning before the end of this decade.
The companies also claim the large-scale pipeline transmission solution offers businesses an easy-to-use logistics chain from capture to storage.
“It is both efficient and economical for large volumes of CO2 and allows for ample operational flexibility. Fluxys and Equinor will be engaging with interested parties such as major emitting industries to present the project,” the companies stated.
The open-access CO2 transmission system will be accessible to emitters in Belgium and surrounding countries, offering them the opportunity to connect CO2 storage sites in Norway.
Liquefied CO2 shipped from neighbouring hubs could be connected to the Zeebrugge facility, further increasing the geographical reach of the project.
A pipeline branch to the French port of Dunkirk is also envisaged and additional connections to other countries in north-western Europe will be assessed as well.
Grete Tveit, Equinor’s senior vice president for low carbon solutions, said that Equinor aims to deliver an end-to-end CCS value chain, together with its partners.
“Equinor believes that CCS is vital to succeed with the energy transition and to reach net-zero by 2050,” she said.
Fluxys chief executive Pascal De Buck said that its objective with the Equinor-Fluxys project is to offer a robust structural decarbonisation solution and we now make the move to deliver.
Equinor said: “Carbon capture, transport and storage… is essential for achieving significant CO2 emission reductions. This project by Equinor and Fluxys offers the North-West European market a robust and flexible solution for large-scale decarbonisation."