Carbon Collectors gets green light for its CO2 barge-push tug design

A CO2 transport and storage barge-push tug combination, developed as part of the Carbon Collectors initiative, has won approval in principle from Bureau Veritas.

The concept was developed by Dutch shipyard Royal Niestern Sander, the shipping company Royal Wagenborg, and Imodco, part of the SBM Offshore Group.

“We are proud this CO2 barge-push tug combination – including the offshore single point mooring system – has received an approval in principle from Bureau Veritas. This significant milestone indicated the concept of CO2 transport and storage meets all international rules and regulations and is ready to be realized in practice as a solution to cut CO2 emissions,” Niestern Sander said.

CO2 push tug

The Dutch-based initiative aims to collect and store CO2 in empty offshore gas fields or other storage facilities of customers’ choice. 

The plan is to capture CO2 in specially tailored barges from clients’ sites and pipeline terminals, transport them and inject the CO2 into storage facilities.

The company is working with several operators to define in excess of 100 million tonnes of CO2 storage capacity in the Southern North Sea.

The shipping concept was first developed by Fizzy Transition Ventures, which launched Carbon Collectors in 2020.

Capture CO2 at the source, compress it in a floating transport container, push the container with a boat to an empty offshore gas field and inject the CO2 into the field. In a nutshell, that is the concept for the transport and storage of CO2.

“You can only achieve ambitious goals if you work with strong partners. By combining forces with industry’s leading technology providers, we are able to provide a solid service for transport and storage of significant amounts of CO2. This approval in principle gives us confidence that not only our solution works but that we are well on the way to realize our first projects,” Haije Stigter, technical director Carbon Collectors, said.

The goal is to provide clients a minimum of 2 barges of 5,500 cubic meters each, operated by pusher-tugs. That amounts to a scalable capacity starting at 0.5 million tons per year per customer up to 6 million tons per year by 2030.

The project also uses Imodco’s Carbon Capture & Storage Tower Loading Unit (TLU). The TLU functions as an interface between a transportation barge and the offshore gas field where the CO2 is injected and stored. It has the capacity to handle 1.5 MTPA of CO2.

Now that the detailed design has been approved, the plan is to have the first fleet ready in 2023.