Norway's government has green lit its final investment decision for Europe's most ambitious carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, Northern Lights.

The decision prompted leading Northern Lights partner Equinor (NYSE:EQNR) (Stavanger, Norway) to award two contracts worth 1.3 billion Norwegian Krone ($147 million). Northern Lights forms part of the Norwegian full-scale CCS project "Longship" which covers the transportation, receipt and permanent storage of CO2 in an undersea reservoir in the northern North Sea. 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 2,600 metres below the seabed. Industrial Info reported in October on the launch of the Longship project which will cost up to 2.6 billion euro ($3 billion) in total, covering construction and 10 years of operation. The Norwegian government will pay for around 80% of the project's estimated budget. For additional information, see October 14, 2020, article - Norway Pledges $2.7 Billion for 'Longship' Carbon Capture Plan.

Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru, commented: "Carbon capture and storage is important to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. "Longship" is the largest climate project ever in the Norwegian industry and will contribute substantially to the development of CCS as an efficient mitigation measure. Working together with the industry, the step-by-step approach has confirmed that the project is feasible. I want to thank the Northern Lights partners Equinor, Shell and Total, and I am looking forward to our continued cooperation."

Equinor has contracted Kværner AS, owned by Aker Solutions AS, for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the onshore plant facilities at the Energiparken industrial area in the municipality of Øygarden in Western Norway. The onshore plant will receive and store liquid CO2 before it is exported through a pump and pipeline system for injection offshore. Work will start in January 2021, and completion is planned by first-quarter 2024.

Aker Solutions AS has been awarded an EPC contract for delivering a subsea injection system for the CO2 well in the North Sea. Work will start in January 2021 with installation and completion in 2023. The contract also includes options for equipment for future wells. Industrial Info is tracking all of the key Longship projects.

"Equinor aims to become a net-zero energy company by 2050," said Peggy Krantz-Underland, Equinor's chief procurement officer, after awarding the contracts. "This requires that we together with our suppliers develop new value chains and projects such as offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage." Industrial Info has reported recently on the details of Equinor's net-zero energy plans. For additional information, see August, 2020, article - Equinor Targets Net Zero Emissions by 2050.

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