DNV, industry players team up for CO2 ship transport solutions

Energy majors Equinor, Shell, TotalEnergies, Gassco and classification society DNV have unveiled the launch of a new joint industry project (JIP) to develop low-pressure solutions for the transportation of CO2 by ships.

Illustration (Courtesy of DNV)

As disclosed, the JIP named ‘CO2 Efficient Transport via Ocean’ (CETO) will undertake the technology qualification of a low-pressure ship design and identify solutions to scale CO2 transportation volume while reducing the associated risks.

Funded by the project partners and Norwegian state enterprise for carbon capture and storage (CCS) Gassnova through the CLIMIT programme, CETO is expected to be completed in 2023.

CCS is known as a key technology for meeting the goals of the Paris and Glasgow agreements and connecting capture sources to facilities for use or storage sites where pipelines are not an option could be a challenge.

Currently, most transport of the CO2 via ship takes place at a small scale and at medium pressure (15 bar at -28ºC), limiting the possibilities of scaling up to meet future growth in CCS, DNV explains. Therefore, low-pressure transport systems (around 7 bar at -49ºC) are seen as a potential solution to transport CO2 safely and efficiently at an industrial scale by ship since they enable much larger tank volumes, cargo capacities and reduced transportation costs.

However, the industry currently has little practical experience with the transport of liquid CO2 (LCO2) under these conditions and the new JIP seeks to build this experience.

As described, the project is to examine the fundamentals of a low-pressure CO2 transport chain, including LCO2 ship design with low-pressure tank and cargo handling system, material choice and testing, medium-scale testing and simulation of cargo handling, conditioning and liquefaction and testing LCO2 behaviour at low pressure.

“As an important part of tackling the climate crisis, reducing costs across the whole CCS value chain is essential. Low-pressure CO2 ship designs are a potentially important piece of the chain, but they need to be reliable and meet accepted safety standards”, said Johan Petter Tutturen, VP of Special Projects – Gas at DNV.

Commenting on the JIP, Syrie Crouch, VP of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) at Shell, said: “Ensuring these CO2 transport vessels and their associated loading/unloading facilities are standardised to enable interconnectivity between capture and storage facilities will be key to success. Shell looks forward to working with the JIP on the next generation of CO2 ships to deliver this vision”.

Equinor believes that low-pressure ship transport is an interesting way to scale up CO2 transport solutions, but we need to make sure the technical risks are reduced to an acceptable level. That is why this project is important”, added Elisabeth Birkeland, VP of CCS solutions in Equinor.

TotalEnergies’ VP of R&D Line Sustainability Bruno Pahlawan said that the future technology, which is expected to open the door to large-scale transport of CO2, is fully in line with the company’s ambition to get to net-zero emissions by 2050.

According to DNV, the CETO JIP is named after Ceto, who is a primordial sea goddess in Greek mythology, and builds on an earlier project carried out by the partners that investigated the technology gaps and identified qualification activities to demonstrate that the technologies offer the required levels of operational safety and reliability.

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