The Erna Solberg led Norwegian government has proposed to launch a $2.7 billion carbon capture and storage (CCS) project dubbed ‘Longship’ to help the country cut emissions, facilitate the development of new technology and create jobs.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg Photo: Tore Sætre, CC
The government Monday submitted a White Paper to the Norwegian parliament for the Longship project, 'Langskip' in Norwegian, which will facilitate the large-scale implementation of carbon capture, transport and storage (CCS) technologies across the country.
Calling Longship a milestone in the government’s industry and climate efforts, PM Solberg said the project will lead to emission cuts, and facilitate the development of new technology and thus new jobs.
The government has proposed to first implement carbon capture at the
Norwegian cement manufacturer Norcem’s factory in the town of Brevik, in Telemark.
In addition, the government also intends to fund renewable energy solutions provider Fortum Oslo Varme’s waste incineration facility in Oslo, provided the project secures sufficient own funding as well as funding from the EU or other sources.
“For Longship to be a successful climate project for the future, other countries also have to start using this technology. This is one of the reasons why our funding is conditional on others contributing financially as well,” asserted Solberg.
The project also comprises funding for the transport and storage project Northern Lights, a joint project between oil and gas giants Equinor, Shell and Total.
Northern Lights will transport liquid CO2 from capture facilities to a terminal at Øygarden in Vestland County. From there, the CO2 will be pumped through pipelines to a reservoir beneath the sea bottom.
"For many years, various Norwegian governments have supported technology development, test and pilot projects, and underscored the importance of carbon capture and storage as an important climate tool internationally. The present Government has followed up this work and made targeted efforts on CCS since 2013," the government said in a statement on Monday.
Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru while calling ‘Longship’ the greatest climate project in Norwegian industry ever, remarked, "Building bit by bit in collaboration with the industry has been important to us in order to be confident that the project is feasible. This approach has worked well, and we now have a decision basis. Longship involves building new infrastructure, and we are preparing the ground for connecting other carbon capture facilities to a carbon storage facility in Norway. This approach is a climate policy that works.”
In its statement, the government cited a UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has said that CCS will be necessary to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in line with the climate targets at the lowest possible cost.
"There are currently few facilities in operation on a global basis. We, therefore, need more projects that bring learning and technological development. In turn, they will help reduce costs. If CCS is to become an efficient climate policy instrument, new facilities must be established in Europe and globally," the statement added.
Norway has committed to cutting domestic emissions by 50-55 percent by 2030.
"For the world to achieve the goals that we have committed ourselves to in the Paris Agreement, we need large-scale carbon capture and storage. Not all emissions can be cut by applying renewable energy. In several industrial processes, such as the production of cement, CCS is the only technology that can cut emissions. With Longship, Norway will support the development of climate solutions for the future," Minister of Climate and Environment, Sveinung Rotevatn emphasized.
The government believes the country is in a good position to contribute to the development of CCS.
The country has a strong technological community in the field of carbon capture, transport and storage. The successful development and operation of the CO2 storage projects on the Sleipner and Snøhvit fields for well over a decade have demonstrated safe carbon storage on the Norwegian continental shelf.
“Effective climate policies must be positive industrial policies. Through Longship, the Government will strengthen the Norwegian industry by enabling enterprises to meet the climate requirements of the future. The project is an important contribution to green growth and will secure and create new jobs in the industry,” noted Children and Families Minister, Kjell Ingolf Ropstad.
Project Longship will facilitate the further development of CCS both in Norway and Europe.
According to the government, the project has been matured to a level required for an investment decision, and the decision basis shows that all parts of the project are feasible.
The government further stressed that, for Longship to have the desired effect, an ambitious development of climate policies in Europe is needed.
The risks are primarily connected to the economy of the project, such as the technical integration of the different parts of the project, the scope of following projects and necessary support schemes for such projects from the EU and individual countries, it said.
The total investments in Longship are estimated at $1.85 billion. This includes both Norcem, Fortum Oslo Varme as well as Northern Lights. The operating costs for ten years of operation are estimated at $864 million.
Altogether, the estimated total cost is $ 2.7 billion for all projects.
Longship will receive state aid in accordance with negotiated agreements. The state’s part of these costs is estimated at $1.8 billion.