CCS history in the making – CSLF visit to the Northern Lights Receiving Terminal at Oygarden


By Tim Dixon

4 July 2022

The CSLF delegates meeting in Bergen got the pleasure of a site visit to the Northern Lights Receiving Terminal at Oygarden. This place will go down in CCS history as the first of its kind in the world, being able to receive and store CO2 from anywhere in the world. It was impressive to see the progress made as it is now in construction, compared with our previous visit in February 2020 with the 4th Offshore CCS Workshop when it had just been selected and we were the first international group to visit. Construction is advanced on the offloading jetty, the main buildings, the foundations for the storage tanks, the 750m pipeline tunnel entrance for the 100km of pipeline to the Oseberg storage field, and the topography has changed accordingly also. With two wells and a cap rock of 75m, the project will be able to store 1.5Mt of CO2 pa, reaching 37.5Mt by 2049. We heard of the planned background seismic baseline measurements with ocean bottom sensors. The well and seismic data is planned to be made public. The two CO2 carrier ships are under construction in China and will be the world’s largest CO2 carriers when completed, at 7,500m3 each. These ships will be LNG-fuelled and wind assisted with air lubrication to reduce their emissions by 34%. The pipelines are under construction in Italy. The project has the first storage licence in Norway, EL001, and will apply for the storage permit in the fall of 2022, with injection planned for 2024. We heard of the local public enthusiasm, with 80% of the population in favour.

We also learned of the phase 2 expansion, to take it to 5-7 Mt pa with 3 additional wells, additional storage tanks, another jetty for larger ships of 12,000m3 capacity.

Already the Northern Lights project is generating and sharing lessons learned to accelerate the commercialisation of CCS, including:

  • Temporary government support can overcome the CCS chicken-and-egg problem
  • Large scale projects facilitate learning by doing and remove hurdles
  • Shipping redefines access to storage
  • CO2 storage enables net zero ecosystems beyond CCS.

Thank you to the Northern Lights JV team for hosting a large delegation on that beautiful sunny day, contrasting greatly to the weather on our first visit in 2020!- We can truly say we saw CCS history in the making!

CSLF Technical Group meeting

The CSLF Technical Group held its meeting on the 27 June in Bergen. The significant items from this meeting were the CSLF endorsement of three new projects: Lafrage’s CO2MENT cement CCS project in BC Canada, the Porthos project in the Netherlands, and the Northern Lights project. Also the recognition of achievement of three existing projects: Boundary Dam, Tomakomai, and Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM). In addition, a panel was held to discuss the learnings from Boundary Dam, Norcem, Tomakomai, Northern Lights and Alberta Carbon Trunk Line. Nothern Light’s and Norcem’s learnings were particularly new and interesting, as they are in their construction phases. Another panel was held on test centres and their role in speeding up CCS deployment, moderated by IEAGHG.

The following CSLF Task Forces reported updates: CDR; Offshore CCS workshop series (by IEAGHG and UT); Hubs and Clusters; Technology Roadmap; and plans for a CSLF workshop in Central and Eastern Europe in 2023.

CDR workshop

A CSLF Workshop on CDR was held on the 28 June in which IEAGHG work featured significantly, with keynote presentations from IEAGHG’s Jasmin Kemper on an overview of CDR technologies, and IEAGHG’s recent reports on DAC, Mineralisation, and Imperial College on BECCS. The global need for CDR was provided by Professor Jim Skea drawing from the recent IPCC WGIII report, also international policy from Mission Innovation CDR Challenge and US policy. Technology providers and project developers were invited to present and we heard from MCi, Drax, Climeworks and Celsio (the new company name for the Fortum Waste to Energy plant). Celsio’s fuel is 50% biogenic and so will create negative emissions.

IEAGHG chaired a discussion panel on CDR accounting, which had Andrea Ramirez, Paul Zakkour, Kenneth Mollersten, Jannicke Bjerkas and Ingvild Ombudstvedt as panelists. This discussion recognised the compliance and the voluntary carbon markets, the need for CDR MRV methodologies, and the gap in the IPCC GHG Inventory Guidelines for DAC which is required for the compliance markets.

IEAGHG and the CEM CCUS Initiative moderated the workshop to agree key messages, conclusions and recommendations. These included noting the need for CDR but that emissions reductions are needed as a priority, the shortage of good quality carbon credits from CDR, and noting the impressive commitments by the technology developers and project developers to realising real projects. A report of the workshop will be produced by IEAGHG.

For full CSLF agendas and presentations, see 2022 Technical Group Mid-Year Meeting | CSLForum .

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