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Norway signs agreements on CO2 storage with four EU countries

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A good day for the climate, says Energy Minister Terje Aasland (Ap). On Monday, Norway signed agreements on the shipping of CO2 for storage on the Norwegian seabed with four EU countries. Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB

Of NTB | 15.04.2024 18:04:08

Nature and environment: It has taken several years to get the agreements – so-called Memorandums of Understandings (MoU) – in place. The agreements make it possible to send CO2 to be stored across national borders.

On Monday, the agreements were signed at the EU’s informal meeting of energy ministers, to which Norway was also invited.

– The climate challenges cut across national borders, so it is absolutely crucial that we put in place solutions for cross-border transport of CO2. This is an important day for the climate, Norwegian energy interests and our investment in carbon capture and storage. The Norwegian shelf is ready to receive CO2, he says.

Aasland himself was not present at the meeting. Instead, State Secretary Elisabeth Sæther (Ap) participated.

Among other things, the company Yara has invested in a larger carbon capture facility at its factory in Sluiskil in the Netherlands. Here, 800,000 tonnes of CO2 can be captured annually.

The Danish power producer Ørsted is also investing heavily in carbon capture and storage (CCS). From 2026, they must capture a minimum of 430,000 tonnes of CO2 per year at two of their waste incineration plants.

But in order for the carbon to be transported to Norway, separate agreements are required for the export of CO2 for storage purposes across national borders under the convention on combating marine pollution.

It is these agreements that are now in place.

If the companies achieve all the ambitions behind the applications, they will be able to receive and store around 40 million tonnes of CO2 on the NCS annually from around 2030.

Recently, the EU also adopted a new law on zero emission industry – the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA). It assumes that by 2030, 50 million tonnes of CO2 will be captured and stored – annually.

However, for the Norwegian continental shelf to be included until 2030, Norway must incorporate the law into the EEA agreement.

– The same is needed in Norway, emphasizes State Secretary Sæther to NTB.

She points out that Statnett estimates that between NOK 60 and 100 billion must be spent on upgrading and expanding the electricity grid by 2030.

It is the Ministry of Energy that must approve the individual development plans.

– Here there are many considerations that must be taken into account. But there is no doubt that the processes must go faster than what they have done so far, says Sæther.

The signing is a milestone in the work with the investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS), says Energy Minister Terje Aasland (Ap).

In the countries around the North Sea, interest in capturing and storing carbon is growing. According to Aasland, the Norwegian Longship project, which ranks first among full-scale capture and storage projects in Europe, has contributed to this.

Both companies have now entered into agreements on storing the carbon on the Norwegian seabed with the Equinor company Northern Lights.

The Ministry of Energy has awarded a further six exploration permits under the CO2 storage regulations.

At the meeting of energy ministers, the main issue was the precarious need to expand the power grid in Europe. Massive investments are needed here, states Belgian Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten in a statement.

(© NTB)

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