Norwegian duo Equinor and Horisont Energi have struck a deal to further mature a carbon transportation and storage project in the Barents Sea, off the coast of northern Norway.

Horisont revealed the pair had entered into a joint development agreement for the Polaris project, which is expected to have a total carbon storage capacity of more than 100 million tonnes.

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“Equinor has extensive experience with carbon capture and storage (CCS) operations and therefore I am extremely pleased that they have chosen to partner with us on the Polaris project, which has the potential to advance Norway’s position as a leading nation on cost-effective CCS technology,” said Horisont chief executive Bjorgulf Haukelidsaeter Eidesen.

“In order for CCS to become a significant climate change mitigation tool, it is important to develop many projects. I therefore look forward to developing this project with Equinor and our world-leading suppliers.”

Horisont has previously stated that it is aiming for the project to have the lowest carbon storage cost globally, helping pave the way for profitable carbon capture, transportation and storage facilities that are not reliant on government support schemes.

Barents Blue

Polaris will form part of Equinor’s Barents Blue development, which will be Europe’s first “world-scale” carbon neutral ammonia production plant, with the capacity to produce 1 million tonnes of ammonia per annum.

The first stage of development of Polaris will see it store 2 million tonnes of CO2 annually from the Barents Blue ammonia production, which will be produced at a plant to be built in Finnmark, Norway.

If it goes ahead, Barents Blue will have the capacity to produce 3000 tonnes of carbon neutral blue ammonia per day, with the facility to be fed by gas from the Barents South region.

Carbon dioxide will then be liquefied and transported offshore, where it will be stored beneath the Barents Sea, with the project expected to have a CO2 capture rate above 99%, which Horisont said would make it the most carbon-efficient gas fed ammonia plant in the world.

Both Polaris and Barents Blue are at the end of the feasibility phase and will soon enter the concept phase. A final investment decision on both projects anticipated towards the end of next year, with start-up anticipated in 2025.