Illustration courtesy Equinor

Northern Lights Carbon Transport and Storage Project Gets Go-Ahead from Norway

Mike Schuler
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December 16, 2020

The Norwegian Government has announced its funding decision for the Northern Lights project, a key component of Norway’s full-scale carbon capture and storage project.

Northern Lights comprises the critical transport and storage component of the government’s full-scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project “Longship”. It focusses on the development and operation of infrastructure that will enable the transport, receipt and storage of CO2 captured from industrial sites Norway in a permanent reservoir approximately 2,600 meters under the North Sea.

The Norwegian government has reportedly agreed to financing 80 percent of the 6.9 billion crowns ($791 million) needed for the first stage of development.

Initially, Northern Lights includes capacity to transport, inject and store up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Once the CO2 is captured onshore, it will be transported by newly designed ships, injected and permanently stored in the subsea reservoir. Phase one of the project is anticipated to be completed in mid-2024.

Equinor, Shell and Total are partners in the Northern Lights project. The partners made a conditional investment decision on it in May 2020 and they are now in the process of setting up a joint venture to manage it.

“Northern Lights is a true pioneering project and the first of its kind offering a solution to cut emissions from industrial sources in Norway and Europe,” says Equinor CEO Anders Opedal. “We are ready to start realizing this project that will be an important part of the climate solution. I want to thank the Norwegian government and for the broad political support in making this a reality. I am certain that we together with our partners and suppliers will make this project a success.”

Carbon capture and storage is seen as a way to help governments achieve ambitious net-zero carbon targets, seen as critical to achieving goals set out in the Paris Agreement.

“The development of the carbon capture and sequestration value chain is essential to decarbonize Europe’s industries,” said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total. “We are a long-standing partner of Norway, a pioneer country which has more than 20 years of experience in CCS, and today we thank its government for making possible the final investment decision to develop Northern Lights. CCS is key to achieving carbon neutrality in Europe and is fully part of our Climate Ambition to get to net zero emissions by 2050”.

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