Equinor and Wintershall Dea have agreed to pursue the development of an extensive carbon capture and storage (CCS) value chain connecting continental European carbon dioxide emitters to offshore storage sites on the Norwegian continental shelf.

An approximately 900-kilometre-long, open-access pipeline is planned to connect the CO2 collection hub in northern Germany and the storage sites in Norway before 2032.

The Norwegian-German (NOR-GE) CCS project aims to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by establishing the value chain and infrastructure for the safe transportation, injection, and storage of CO2 in suitable reservoirs on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The project's first phase involves 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 transported by ship per year, according to Wintershall Dea. The pipeline is expected to have a capacity of 20 million to 40 million tonnes per annum of CO2, which is equivalent to around 20% of all German industrial emissions per year. The project will also consider an early deployment solution where CO2 could be transported by ship from the CO2 export hub to the storage sites.

Wintershall Dea and Equinor also plan to jointly apply for offshore CO2 storage licences, aiming to store between 15 million and 20 million tpa on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Wintershall Dea chief executive Mario Mehren said that Wintershall Dea and Equinor will work together to establish technical and commercial solutions for the development of cross-border CCS value chains in Europe and work with governments to shape a regulatory framework that can enable this.

“We will build on our close cooperation and open the next chapter of German-Norwegian partnership,” he said.

Equinor’s chief executive Anders Opedal said that it will be a strong energy partnership supporting European industrial clusters’ need to decarbonise their operations.

“Wintershall Dea and Equinor are committed to the energy transition and will utilise the competence and experience in both companies to work with governments and partners to help reach the net-zero target,” said Opedal.

Through the partnership, both companies are responding to the European demand for the large-scale decarbonisation of carbon-intensive industries that need safe and large-scale underground CO2 storage to abate unavoidable emissions from their processes, according to Equinor.

The partnership intends to connect Germany, the largest CO2 emitter in Europe, and Norway, which has Europe’s largest CO2 storage potential.

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