ABB gets in on Norway’s Northern Lights project

Technology group ABB has secured a contract with Aker Solutions to deliver the main electrical, automation and safety systems for the Northern Lights project, the transport and storage component of Norway’s Longship project for establishing full-scale CO2 capture, transport and storage facilities.

Northern Lights infographic. Courtesy of ABB

Northern Lights, a joint venture between Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies, is said to be the first industrial carbon capture and storage (CCS) project to develop an open and flexible infrastructure to safely store CO2 from industries across Europe.

The first phase of the project is due to be completed in mid-2024 and will have the capacity to permanently store up to 1.5 million tons of CO2 per year, with the ambition to expand to over five million tons per year in a second development phase.

As part of the new contract, ABB’s automation, electrical and digital solutions will be integrated into the Northern Lights project to enable the remote operation of a new carbon capture terminal and ensure that the facility runs at optimum efficiency.

The operators will use distributed control system, ABB Ability System 800xA, to gain greater visibility into the operation of the Northern Lights terminal.

The project will see the purpose-built ships transporting captured and liquefied CO2 from emitters to the Northern Lights Øygarden Terminal in western Norway, which will be remotely operated from Equinor’s facilities at the Sture Terminal located approximately 7 kilometres away.

Northern Lights
Northern Lights infographic. Courtesy of ABB

To enable remote operations, ABB will build an Extended Operator Workstation at the Northern Lights Terminal which will work in tandem with the central control room in Sture, with the two communicating to minimise response times and support 24/7 remote operations.

ABB technology will also power the entire project, apart from the shore-to-ship solution, implementing the main electrical system via its power process management system and incorporating high and low-voltage switchboards and transformers, the company informed.

“The ability to capture and store industrial CO2 emissions, which cannot currently be prevented, is critical if the world is to reach net-zero by 2050 with a global capacity of 1.7 billion tons of CO2 capture required by 2030”, said Per Erik Holsten, head of ABB Energy Industries in Northern Europe.

“Northern Lights is an important development not only for its contribution to rebalancing the carbon cycle but also for its commitment to innovation. We are very pleased to be part of this exciting project that will contribute to a safer, smarter and more sustainable future.”

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