Gassnova; Sharing of risk paves the way for Longship

Harald Anvik leads a dedicated team at Gassnova responsible for the follow-up of Longship. On behalf of the Ministry of Energy, the team oversees the state’s interests in the CCS project.

The state is engaged in Longship as a response to global climate changes. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an important measure to reduce Norway’s carbon footprint, and the main goal of Longship is to demonstrate that a full CCS chain can be realized. As Longship is developed, experiences are also shared with other European countries – where CCS technology is gradually gaining a strong foothold. Northern Lights, with its transport and storage infrastructure, has already secured new volumes from Yara in the Netherlands and from Ørsted in Denmark, where CO2 from these will be stored on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Disbursement of support for construction of the facilities

The state has allocated significant funds to establish Longship as a CCS chain, and part of Gassnova’s responsibility is to disburse the correct support to the actors for the construction of the facilities. The actors themselves are responsible for constructing the facilities, and they will own and operate the facilities upon completion.

Longship in the year 2024. Illustration: Gassnova

Risk distribution and risk-based follow-up

The state’s choice to support a whole chain, with capture, transport, and storage, is key to Longship becoming a reality. The state has taken on significant responsibility as a risk mitigator between the actors, to give them the opportunity to frame their own project with acceptable uncertainty.

Based on the actors’ reporting and the progress of the projects, Gassnova conducts its own risk assessments and analyses to advise the Ministry of Energy, and to protect the state’s position in the contracts. – Risk-based follow-up is key to a small team being able to monitor the support agreements, and the significant funds the state has made available for Longship. Gassnova sits close to the actors and understand the developments in the projects, this is key to using resources effectively, especially when projects encounter challenges, says Harald Anvik.

“Uncharted Territories”

The full-chain CCS in Longship represents “Uncharted Territories “. The project follow-up team at Gassnova has been impressed by the industrial partners’ efforts to find solutions to challenges no one before them has had to deal with – from working at the interface between facilities, to preparations for operation, and to unforeseen delays in the construction process, especially with the effect of challenges around Covid and the war in Ukraine. Building facilities to be integrated into existing factories is particularly difficult. It is important not to underestimate the scope of integration, available power, necessary areas, regulations, and the like.

Knowledge sharing and social responsibility

Parallel to the construction projects, one of the goals of Longship is to drive knowledge sharing. This is especially true for new actors with CCS in the pipeline. A number of European authorities, representatives from politics, business, and media have visited the facilities in Brevik, Oslo, and Øygarden outside Bergen. Significant efforts are made by industrial actors to meet the state’s expectations in this area.

– A big thank you to Heidelberg Materials, Hafslund Oslo Celsio, and Northern Lights for welcoming visitors who want to see a real CCS facility being built. We are also very satisfied with how the dialogue between the local community and the developers is proceeding in the project. The facilities are located close to the residents’ daily lives, and there will always be challenges with large construction activity. But the impression is that individual cases are resolved as well as possible, precisely through good local dialogue. At the same time, we are pleased that among others, the industrial actor Heidelberg Materials employs locally as their facility in Brevik is eventually prepared for start-up, says Harald.

What have you learned?

The greatest lesson, or rather confirmation, is the importance of collaboration and flexibility. It is also very important to have robust and well-developed agreements in place. The expectations set in the state support agreements also provide a more open and tidy dialogue between the stakeholders in Longship. An advantage for the project is also the traditionally good interaction between the state and the business/industrial sector in Norway. This is something our foreign partners do not always experience at home, and which is well noticed during visits to the Longship actors in Norway, concludes Harald Anvik at Gassnova.

Status Longship February 2024

The Longship project is advancing and scheduled to be operational next year. As the first value chain in Europe, capturing, transporting and storing CO2 for climate purposes. This will be a huge milestone in combating climate change.

The history

The Longship project (.pdf) is the Norwegian Government’s name of the initiative to develop a full-scale CCS value chain in Norway. Demonstrating the potential of CCS to Europe and the world. A carbon capture facility is currently being built at Heidelberg Materials’ cement plant in Brevik, Norway. Hafslund Oslo Celsio started building a carbon capture facility at their waste-to-energy plant in Oslo in August 2022. But construction was put on hold in April 2023. And a new final investment decision is scheduled in the summer of 2024. Northern Lights is currently developing a solution for the transport and storage of CO2.

Longship is progressing

Construction of the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage infrastructure and Heidelberg Materials’ capture plant is progressing. Brevik CCS is 71% completed and the Northern Lights storage facility is 91% completed.

Hafslund Oslo Celsio (Celsio) decided in April 2023 to introduce a twelve-month cost reduction phase. Therfore placed the construction on hold at the waste-to-energy facility at Klemetsrud. An updated cost estimate showed that the carbon capture project would exceed the maximum budget stipulated in its government funding agreement. A FEED contract with Aker Carbon Capture and Aker Solutions to develop carbon capture is now signed. Celsio has scheduled a new final investment decision in the summer of 2024.

Operational in 2025

Longship will be operational in 2025 with captured CO2 from Brevik, transport and storage, behind the initial plan (late 2024), according to the latest communication from the Government.

Northern Lights has finalized the transport and storage agreement with Yara to store up to 800,000 tonnes of CO2 annually from Yara’s ammonia and fertiliser plant in Sluskil, Netherlands. Northern Lights has also entered into transport and storage agreement with Ørsted to store 430,000 tonnes biogenic CO2 per year from two power plants in Denmark from 2026. These projects utilize the overcapacity in the Northern Lights infrastructure already established through the Longship project.

Northern Lights was selected by the EU Commission in December 2023 to receive € 131 million from Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for construction works for a Phase 2. Northern Lights are currently in dialogue with the Commission related to the conditions for this potential grant.

More European CO₂ for Northern Lights

Earlier this week (week 47), Northern Lights signed a new agreement on CO2 transport and storage. This time with Yara Sluiskil in the Netherlands. This is a major milestone for the Longship project.

Longship to stimulate market development for CCS in Europe

In January 2021, the Norwegian parliament decided to fund Langskip. This marked the start of the construction phase of Heidelberg Materials Brevik’s CO2 capture project in Brevik, Norway. And Northern Lights’ transport and storage project on the Norwegian west coast. Northern Lights received a grant from the Norwegian government to build and operate an overcapacity transport and storage infrastructure for CO2. Northern Lights has successfully sold this capacity to two industrial projects in Europe – Ørsted in Denmark and now Yara in the Netherlands. Earlier this year, Northern Lights and Ørsted signed an agreement to transport and store 430,000 tonnes of CO2 per year from two power plants in Denmark.

– The agreement in the Netherlands is a milestone for both Northern Lights and Yara and for the development of the market in Europe. It shows that the commercial potential for CCS in Europe is now being realised and that the market for CO2 transport and storage is developing positively. The agreements with Northern Lights fit well with the purpose of the Longship project,” says Morten Henriksen, CEO of Gassnova.

Will remove 12 million tonnes of CO2

Yara Sluiskil is one of the world’s largest ammonia and mineral fertilizer plants. The reduction of 800,000 tonnes of CO2 is equivalent to 0.5 percent of the total annual emissions in the Netherlands (as of 2022). Over the next 15 years, Yara will remove around 12 million tonnes of CO2 from production at Sluiskil. Yara has received EUR 30 million from the Dutch government to support the project.

CCS is a cost-effective solution for decarbonisation that is compatible with existing European production infrastructure, for ammonia and fertilizer production. Yara (YouTube) believes that all technologies must be used to address the climate crisis. The European industry is eagerly awaiting the EU’s CCUS strategy, which is expected to be published early next year.

Northern Lights and Yara signed the agreement in the presence of Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aasland. Photo: Northern Lights.

Based on press releases from the following companies; Yara and Northern Lights

Status september 2023, Longship

Brevik CCS is 66% completed and the Northern Lights storage facility is 86% completed.

Construction of the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage infrastructure and Heidelberg Materials’ capture plant is progressing.

  • Celsio decided in April to introduce a twelve-month cost reduction phase and place the construction on hold after an updated cost estimate showed that the carbon capture project would exceed the maximum budget stipulated in its government funding agreement.
  • Longship will be operational with captured CO2 from Brevik, transport and storage in 2025, behind the initial plan (late 2024), according to the latest communication from the Government (Prop. 118 S (2022-2023)).

Status Northern Lights

  • Construction of the Northern Lights CO2storage facility is 86,3% completed (2023.08.31).
  • The visitor centre was opened in October 2022 by the Norwegian prime minister Støre.
  • Preliminary results from drilling operations confirm the storage capacity of at least 5 million tonnes CO2per annum. The drilling of one CO2 injection well and one contingent injection well is completed.  
  • Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. (DSIC) is building ships dedicated for CO2 transport for Northern Lights. September 1, Northern Lights awarded the third ship building contract to DSOC. The overall progress for the first ship, including detailed design, engineering, procurement etc., are now 50,2 % completed (2023.08.31) and it will be delivered in 2024.
  • Northern Lights has entered into transport and storage agreement with Ørsted to store 430,000 tonnes biogenic CO2per year from two power plants in Denmark from 2026. Northern Lights is labelling this as an essential step for creating a commercial market for CCS in Europe. In August 2022, Yara and Northern Lights agreed on the main commercial terms on cross border CO2 transport and storage. From early 2025, up to 800,000 tonnes of CO2 will, according to plan, be captured from Yara’s ammonia and fertiliser plant in Sluiskil in the Netherlands and transported and stored by Northern Lights.
  • Northern Lights plan to increase storage capacity to 5 million tonnes per year through an additional development phase (Phase 2) and an increasing customer base. The phase 2 development plan is subject to a final investment decision. FEED studies for phase 2 have been completed.
Northern Lights’ visitor centre. Photo: Northern Lights.

Status Heidelberg Materials

  • Overall accumulated actual progress is 66,0% for the Brevik CCS Project (2023.08.31).
  • Generally, Brevik CCS is progressing well, but the project organisation expresses some concern about delays from subcontractors due to the global disturbances in crucial supply chains caused by war in Ukraine and covid-19, leading to major uncertainties in supply of critical materials, equipment, and logistics.
  • A very important milestone was reached in August 2023 with the lifting into position of the absorber and absorber stack. This piece of equipment is now the highest point of Brevik Plant and is a very visible testimony that Brevik CCS is progressing.
  • The Norwegian state and Heidelberg Materials have signed an agreement securing completion of the capture project after the communicated cost overrun in the project. In the agreement, Heidelberg Materials has undertaken to complete the project and cover increased costs. In return, the company retains a larger share of the potential return on the project. The state undertakes to provide a start-up grant of up to NOK 150 million when the facility is ready to ship the first load of CO2 to Northern Lights.
  • Brevik CCS has experienced vast interest internally and externally. The installation of the absorber has received a lot of attention both externally as well as internally within Heidelberg Materials. Heidelberg Materials now has several emerging projects in other countries, mainly in Europe and North America. Brevik CCS is the frontrunner both within the company and within the industry.
Heidelberg Materials’ plant will be transformed with a new capture plant on site.

Status Celsio

  • Celsio’s carbon capture project started the civil works, blasting and ground works on site in August 2022.
  • In April (2023) an updated cost estimate from Hafslund Oslo Celsio showed that the carbon capture project at their waste incineration plant at Klemetsrud would exceed the investment decision and maximum budget stipulated in its government funding agreement. Celsio decided to introduce a twelve-month cost reduction phase and place the construction on hold. During this phase, Celsio aims to identify possible cost reduction areas, then narrow down and prioritize areas to be investigated. They also investigate possible avoided costs and future revenue as important factors before reaching a new final investment decision in the summer of 2024.
  • The reasons for the cost overruns are complex, but not related to the CCS technology.
  • There is still a clear ambition for Celsio’s carbon capture project to become the world’s first carbon capture plant on waste incineration in a full value chain with transport and permanent storage of CO2. Celsio is owned by Hafslund, Infranode and HitecVision.
  • The changes to Celsio’s project will not have any impact on the completion of Longship as a whole chain for capture, transportation and storage of CO2. The Heidelberg Materials and Northern Lights projects have both passed the halfway point in their construction process and will be able to capture and store CO2 from 2025.
Ground works on site at Hafslund Oslo Celsio’s waste incineration plant in Oslo. Construction of the CO2 capture plant is placed on hold.

CO2 transport to Norway

  • Norway and Germany have agreed to set up a joint Task Force to follow up the results of an ongoing joint feasibility study, which is looking into possibilities to transport hydrogen and CO2 between Germany and Norway. The feasibility study is undertaken by Gassco and dena (Deutsche Energie-Agentur) on behalf of the industry and includes a large number of industrial partners.

Resources

Sharing important learning from building a CCS facility in an operating plant

It is complex to establish a CCS facility in an operating plant. This is documented in Heidelberg Materials’ and Hafslund Oslo Celsio’s lessons learned reports. For financial reasons, the companies will always prioritize maintaining operations at the industrial facility. Limited space and integration of the CO2 capture plant can present challenges that must be resolved.

Both Heidelberg Materials ( (Heidelberg) and Hafslund Oslo Celsio (Celsio) receive financial support from the Norwegian Government for the establishment of CO2 capture facilities. They are both part of “Longship”, the first industrial CCS chain in Europa. It is a goal for the Government that “Longship” provides learning that subsequent CCS projects can benefit from.

Heidelberg Materials is building a CCS facility at the cement factory in Brevik. Their lessons learned report is based on the experience from the start of the construction project in early 2021 until the end of 2022, when the construction was 50 percent completed. Celsio’s experience report is based on their experience from the start of the construction project, August 2022, until the end of 2022. Thus, Heidelberg has a greater experience base than Celsio, which is also reflected in the reports and in this article.

Celsio will construct a CO2 capture facility in the waste-to energy facility in Oslo. However, in April 2023 Celsio put the carbon CCS project into a “cost-reducing phase”. An updated cost estimate showed that cost increases on i. a. equipment deliveries would have led to the project exceeding the investment limit agreed with the state.

Heidelberg Materials. Photo: Heidelberg Materials

Involvement of the operating organisation

In the Brevik CCS project, the CCS plant is being built quite close to the operational cement factory. Due to the tight interfaces between the two plants, Heidelberg highlights the importance of involving personnel with operational experience from the cement factory in the project development right from the start. For any interface challenge that may arise, it is important to identify and quantify the impacts, communicate any changes and, if necessary, evaluate the design. All known issues must be fully investigated and not deferred to the implementation phase. It is important to have a valid project design already during the FEED study, Heidelberg emphasizes in its report.

Heidelberg acknowledges that the establishment of the CCS facility in Brevik makes the working conditions at the factory demanding for a long time. Nevertheless, there has been very little friction to trace in the operating organisation. “General support from all internal stakeholders is critical. This is only achieved through maintaining an open dialogue with the plant and engaging them early on issues,” writes Heidelberg in the report.

Celsio also emphasizes that future projects will have a lot to gain from involving the operating organization at the plant early in the process, both in planning and implementing the project. Dedicated resources from the operating organization should be included in the project organisation, Celsio writes in his report. ” This is a well-known fact for such projects, but still difficult to achieve in practice in plant organizations where attention and resources are inevitably drawn towards daily operations,” the report states. By actively involving the operating organization in project planning and implementation, they will be able to contribute valuable input that provides good integration between the production plant and the CO2 capture plant. Active involvement strengthens ownership in the operating organisation.

The need for space must not be underestimated

Both Heidelberg and Celsio have experienced that the need for space can easily be underestimated.

Heidelberg writes that space requirement is very an important consideration during the design of the CO2 capture facility. Arrangements must be made for access roads; maintenance requirements and construction considerations must be considered. These requirements must not be underestimated.

For Heidelberg, it has been a great advantage that the facility is located by the sea. This has made it possible to bring in prefabricated components. In addition, a nearby fabrication facility (at Trosvik) has opened for prefabrication of modules that can be moved by barge to Brevik. ” It is rare that such a situation exists, so future CCS projects will need to consider this difference when Brevik is benchmarked against other projects,” Heidelberg writes in the report. Heidelberg also changed the timing of construction of the maintenance center to the very end of the project to have sufficient land available during construction. This does not delay start-up but means that the lease period at Trosvik had to be extended.

Early during the construction phase the Celsio identified that the expected need for rigging space was challenging, and somewhat underestimated. Sufficient rigging area is key for the successful implementation of the project and for the fully operational WtE plant to simultaneously run smoothly. However, there is not an abundance of available land in the proximity of the Klemetsrud WtE plant. Future projects should ensure access to/ownership of sufficient land before the investment decision is made, but also consider that the need for land may be higher than expected, writes Celsio in the report.

Hafslund Oslo Celsio.

Tight integration presents challenges

The tight interface between the cement factory in Brevik and the CCS plant presents some significant challenges: For example, the close interface between the cement/CCS plant makes it important to consider what to do with excess heat within the cement plant when the WHRU is taken offline suddenly.  There is a risk of adverse consequences if the hot flue gas is not cooled. It is possible that the the gas conditioning tower (water spray) may not be able to react quickly enough to cool the flue gases sufficiently. This will be investigated further when the process simulator is operational. Future CCS projects should consider emergency shutdown conditions during the pre-FEED study. Heidelberg’s conclusion is that risk can be reduced by reducing the operating plant’s dependence on the CCS plant as much as possible.

Since the cement industry is not familiar with the operating requirements of a chemical plant, personnel training is required and more specific instructions from the supplier are needed, according to Heidelberg.

Celsio also highlights integration challenges in its report: Since the flue gas interface is complex from a process point of view, it is important to address this topic early on. Both personnel from existing facilities and from the CO2 capture project should be involved, they write.

At Klemetsrud, the energy recovery plant and the CO2 capture plant will be operated from the same control room but operated as two separate plants. The energy recovery plant shall not be affected if the CO2 capture plant is out of operation. However, Celsio acknowledges that this will cause interface challenges that need further investigation. Typical problems are pressure and temperature conditions, emission monitoring, start-up, shutdowns, and emergency situations.

Operation at the plant most important

Celsio recommends developing a detailed master plan before an investment decision, where careful consideration is given to the importance of avoiding impact on the daily operation of the process plant. This is particularly important when the W-t-E facility must be in full operation 24/7/365 during the construction period. In such cases, it is recommended that the project carries out an additional independent study/”construction report”, which assesses how best to maintain operations.

Heidelberg emphasizes planning to ensure that downtimes can be utilized to the maximum: ” Winter repairs/annual outages are very important milestones in the execution, both as opportunities and restriction. They need to be planned very carefully and the key objectives in relation to the project agreed long in advance to capture the most benefits,” writes Heidelberg.

Status june 2023, Longship

Construction of the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage infrastructure and Heidelberg Materials’ capture plant is progressing.

Brevik CCS is 60,4% completed and the Northern Lights storage facility is 81,3% completed. Hafslund Oslo Celsio decided to put construction of the CO2 capture plant on hold in April 2023. 
  • Longship will be operational with captured CO2 from Brevik, transport and storage in 2025, slightly behind the initial plan (late 2024), according to the latest communication from the Government (Prop. 118 S (2022-2023))
  • Northern Lights has entered into a transport and storage agreement with Ørsted to store 430,000 tonnes biogenic CO2 annually from two power plants in Denmark from 2026.

Background – about Longship

  • The CCS project Longship, partly funded by the Norwegian government, includes capture, transport and storage of CO2.
  • A carbon capture facility is currently being built at Heidelberg Materials’ cement plant in Brevik, Norway. According to plan, the facility will capture approximately 400,000 tonnes of CO2.
  • Celsio started building a carbon capture facility at their waste-to-energy plant in Oslo in August 2022, but decided to put construction on hold in April 2023 due to a large increase in cost estimates. The project has entered into a cost reducing period of 12 months. According to the initial plan, approximately 400,000 tonnes of CO2 will be captured annually from Celsio’s plant.
  • Northern Lights is currently developing a solution for the transport and storage of CO2. The CO2 will be transported by ship from the various emission sources, including the CO2 from the industrial capture sites of Heidelberg and Celsio, to a receiving facility near Bergen, before being transported by pipeline for permanent storage in a reservoir located 2600 metres below the seabed.
  • Several measures are needed to enable European countries to achieve carbon neutrality. Longship will help the hard-to-abate industries reduce their CO2 emissions and make industrial carbon removals possible through capture of biogenic CO2 (negative emissions).

Roles in Longship

  • Ministry of Petroleum and Energy – Responsible for Norway’s CCS policy and Longship on behalf of the Norwegian government
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Coordinates Norway’s foreign service and embassies
  • Gassnova – State owned company following up Longship on behalf of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
  • Northern Lights – Transport and storage company (Joint Venture owned by Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies) planning to receive CO2 from Heidelberg Materials and Hafslund Oslo Celsio, and aiming to provide transport and storage as a service to multiple companies in Europe.
  • Brevik CCS – Heidelberg Materials – Capture site under construction at the cement plant in Brevik
  • Hafslund Oslo Celsio – Capture project, now on hold, at the waste-to-energy plant in Oslo

Status Northern Lights

  • Construction of the Northern Lights CO2storage facility is 81% completed (2023.05.31).
  • Fabrication and installation of the onshore plant is on schedule and budget and will be ready in 2024. All of the 12 storage tanks are installed.
  • The visitor centre was opened in October 2022 by the Norwegian prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
  • Preliminary results from drilling operations confirm the storage capacity of at least 5 million tonnes CO2per annum. The drilling of one CO2 injection well and one contingent injection well is completed.  
  • Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. (DSIC) is building two ships dedicated for CO2 transport for Northern Lights. The overall progress for the ships, including detailed design, engineering, procurement etc., are now 34 % completed (2023.05.31) and the first ship will be delivered in 2024.
  • Northern Lights has entered into transport and storage agreement with Ørsted to store 430,000 tonnes biogenic CO2per year from two power plants in Denmark from 2026. Northern Lights is labelling this as an essential step for creating a commercial market for CCS in Europe. In August 2022, Yara and Northern Lights agreed on the main commercial terms on cross border CO2 transport and storage. From early 2025, up to 800,000 tonnes of CO2 will, according to plan, be captured from Yara’s ammonia and fertiliser plant in Sluiskil in the Netherlands and transported and stored by Northern Lights.
  • Northern Lights plan to increase storage capacity to 5 million tonnes per year through an additional development phase (Phase 2) and an increasing customer base. The phase 2 development plan is subject to a final investment decision. FEED studies for phase 2 have been completed.
Northern Lights’ CO2 receiving terminal in Øygarden.

Status Heidelberg Materials

  • Overall accumulated actual progress is 60,4% for the Brevik CCS Project (2023.05.31).
  • Generally, Brevik CCS is progressing well, but the project organisation expresses some concern about delays from subcontractors due to the global disturbances in crucial supply chains caused by war in Ukraine and covid-19, leading to major uncertainties in supply of critical materials, equipment, and logistics.
  • Heidelberg Materials and the Norwegian state have, in accordance with the state aid agreement, negotiated over financing the communicated cost overrun in the project. A proposed solution is agreed upon and awaits approval from ESA. In the meantime, the project is progressing as planned.
  • Brevik CCS has experienced vast interest internally and externally. Heidelberg Materials now has several emerging projects in other countries, mainly in Europe and North America. Brevik CCS is the frontrunner both within the company and within the industry.
Heidelberg Materials’ plant will be transformed with a new capture plant on site.

Status Celsio

  • In April an updated cost estimate from Hafslund Oslo Celsio showed that the carbon capture project at their waste incineration plant at Klemetsrud would exceed the maximum budget stipulated in its government funding agreement. Celsio decided to introduce a twelve-month cost reduction phase and place the construction on hold. During this phase, Celsio aims to identify possible cost reduction areas, then narrow down and prioritize areas to be investigated before reaching a new decision in the fall of 2024.
  • Celsio’s carbon capture project started the civil works, blasting and ground works on site in August 2022.
  • There is still a clear ambition for Celsio’s carbon capture project to become the world’s first carbon capture plant on waste incineration in a full value chain with transport and permanent storage of CO2. Celsio is owned by Hafslund, Infranode and HitecVision.
  • The changes to Celsio’s project will not have any impact on the completion of Longship as a whole chain for capture, transportation and storage of CO2. The Heidelberg Materials and Northern Lights projects have both passed the halfway point in their construction process and will be in a position to capture and store CO2 from 2025.

CO2 storage in Norway

  • In total, five exploration licenses to store CO2 on the Norwegian Continental Shelf have so far been awarded pursuant to the CO2Storage Regulation, in addition to Northern Lights’ exploitation permit.
    • In March, two exploration licenses for CO2 storage in the southern part of the North Sea were awarded. Aker BP ASA and OMV (Norge) AS was awarded the eastern CO2storage acreage. Wintershall Dea Norge AS and Altera Infrastructure Group through its subsidiary Stella Maris CCS AS were awarded the northwestern acreage.
    • In October 2022, two companies – Wintershall Dea Norge AS og CapeOmega AS – have been offered exploration license for CO2 storage in an acreage in the Norwegian part of the North Sea.
    • In April 2022, three companies were offered exploration licenses to store CO2in two areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The area in the North Sea was offered to Equinor ASA, and the area in Barents Sea was offered to a group including Equinor ASA, Horisont Energi AS and Vår Energi AS.
    • Northern Lights was awarded an exploration permit for the storage part of Longship in 2019.

Resources

Long experience helps when it comes to carbon storage

Equinor (previously Statoil) has stored CO2 in the Utsira formation in the North Sea since 1996. Since the start of the CLIMIT programme in 2005, support for different carbon storage projects has been a priority area.

It takes many years of trial and error and testing before you can be sure that a storage site is secure. Patience and perseverance are two guiding principles here.

The CLIMIT programme has supported a wide range of projects

Through real-world carbon storage projects and research and development, a large amount of knowledge has been gained in Norway that will be useful for future CCS projects. Lab-based research projects have received support through the R&D part of CLIMIT. More mature technologies have received support through the demo part of the programme. Close cooperation between the Research Council of Norway and Gassnova has led to significant results, which we are now reaping the results of.

Many of the projects in the project portfolio have aided the Longship project. Even though we have gained a lot of knowledge, our goal is yet to be reached. CLIMIT continues to support more carbon storage projects. You can read more about some of the projects in this overview of CLIMIT projects

Gassnova has studied potential carbon storage sites

Northern Lights, the transport and storage part of Longship, will store CO2 in the Johansen formation, south of the Troll field. In 2008, 3D seismic data was collected by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate south of the Troll field in the North Sea. The purpose of this was to survey whether the sandstone in the Johansen formation south of the Troll field was suitable for permanent carbon storage and to propose the placement of CO2 injection wells for future CCS projects.

New seismic data was collected by Gassnova south of the seismic area from 2008 and east of the Troll field. Gassnova and a number of consultants carried out a thorough study of the Johansen formation and Sognefjord formation from the Late Jurassic period. This study resulted in two reports being published in 2012. The report indicated two areas of interest for carbon storage: the Smeaheia area east of the Troll field and the Johansen formation south of the Troll field. This was the beginning of what is now the storage site (the Johansen formation), where Northern Lights is working to get a permanent carbon storage site up and running.

To date, six storage licences have been awarded to various operators on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, all of which are gaining their own experience.

We must implement carbon storage on a large scale

The infrastructure to enable large-scale carbon storage must be established, and co-operation between countries, such as Norway and Denmark, is crucial to making this happen.

This was the clear message from Gassnova CEO Morten Henriksen during a roundtable discussion in Denmark on Thursday. 

 

Norway and Denmark are working together at both the governmental and corporate level

In connection with the official visit of Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway to Her Majesty Queen Margrethe and Denmark on 15 and 16 June, a roundtable discussion was held on the topic of CCS between national authorities and industry leaders from both countries. Both Norway and Denmark are prioritising carbon capture and storage.

“Norway and Denmark have much to gain from co-operating on carbon capture and storage and are already well on the way towards this. To make CCS profitable, it is essential that infrastructure will be developed at large-scale. Norway and Denmark alone are not likely to have sufficient emissions to make CCS profitable. This means these countries are completely dependent on co-operating with other countries,” says Henriksen.

Longship

Through the Longship project, Norway is close to establishing Europe’s first entire carbon capture value chain, capturing industrial emissions, transporting the carbon by ship and pipes and permanently storing it offshore. First, CO2 from the Heidelberg Materials cement factory in Brevik will be captured and stored. However, the transport and storage operator Northern Lights has built additional capacity into its infrastructure and offers carbon transport and storage as a service to other industrial enterprises wanting to implement carbon capture. In May, it was announced that Northern Lights had entered into an agreement with the Danish energy company Ørsted for the storage of 430,000 tonnes of carbon. 

“Longship is a vital first step. Going forward, we need to facilitate the development of infrastructure at a larger scale,” says Henriksen.

At a governmental level, Norway and Denmark have had strong dialogue for a number of years. In 2019, Gassnova arranged a study visit to Norway for Danish authorities with participants from the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, the Danish Energy Agency, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland and the Danish Embassy in Norway. At the time, CCS was not a part of Denmark’s climate policy. Since then, there have been major developments in Denmark regarding CCS. Today, Denmark is one of the most advanced countries in the EU in this area.

Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway in Denmark. Photo: TOM HANSEN/Innovasjon Norge
Morten Henriksen at the roundtable discussion. Photo: TOM HANSEN/Innovasjon Norge

Northern Lights signed agreement with Ørsted

This agreement represents a major milestone for Northern Lights JV and is an essential step for creating a commercial market for CCS in Europe.

Northern Lights JV and Ørsted announce the signing of a CO2 Transport and Services Agreement (TSA) to store 430,000 tonnes biogenic CO2 emissions per year from two power plants in Denmark.

Source: Northern Lights

From 2026 Northern Lights will be shipping the first cargo of biogenic CO2 from Denmark to Norway

“We are very pleased that Ørsted has selected Northern Lights as CO2 tranport and storage provider. Ørsted is our second commercial customer who, together with Yara, gives us the opportunity to further utilise the capacity at our storage site below the North Sea. This agreement confirms the commercial potential for CCS and demonstrates that the market for transport and storage of CO2 is evolving rapidly”, says Børre Jacobsen, Managing Director of Northern Lights. 

Today, Ørsted was awarded public funding from the Danish Energy Agency under the first Danish tender of the CCUS Fund to develop a CO2 capture hub for the biomass power stations Asnæs and Avedøre. The facilities will capture and liquefy 430,000 tonnes of biogenic CO2 per year. Northern Lights will transport the liquefied CO2 by ship for permanent offshore storage below the North Sea.  

Celsio puts Klemetsrud carbon capture project on hold

An updated cost estimate from Hafslund Oslo Celsio shows that the carbon capture project at its Klemetsrud site will exceed the maximum budget stipulated in its government funding agreement. Celsio is now seeking to place the project on hold and will work to reduce costs.

On 5 April, Celsio submitted its biannual cost and uncertainty analysis under the terms of its government funding agreement. This analysis sets out significant cost overruns and delays.

Good dialogue

– “We raised our concerns last November and asked Celsio to consider putting the project on hold. Celsio has now concluded that it would be sensible to do so,” says Roy Vardheim, Gassnova CEO.

Hafslund Oslo Celsio is responsible for the implementation of the carbon capture project. In light of the fact that the Norwegian government is contributing a significant proportion of the project’s financing, Celsio signed a funding agreement with the government to regulate their relationship. Gassnova is responsible for monitoring Celsio’s project management and overseeing the terms of the grant agreement on behalf of the government, including its cost and risk management.

– “We have maintained an open channel with Celsio that has been characterised by good dialogue throughout a series of monitoring activities during the winter. These have included a third party audit and a maturity study under the auspices of DNV,” says Vardheim.

Different roles

When the maximum budget in a government funding agreement is exceeded, the government is not obliged to contribute further financing but the parties are jointly obliged to seek out a mutually agreeable solution on behalf of the project. The parties will enter into dialogue on the road ahead for the project.

According to a press release from Celsio, the project will enter a 12-month cost reduction period. The company and its owners still wish to see the project through to completion, but they will be investing time in finding solutions that reduce the associated costs.

No impact on the completion of Longship

The changes to Celsio’s project will not have any impact on the completion of Longship as a whole chain for the capture, transportation and storage of CO2. The Heidelberg Materials and Northern Lights projects have both passed the halfway point in their construction process and will be in a position to capture and store CO2 from 2025.