History written offshore Denmark: First CO2 storage in the North Sea
INEOS and Wintershall Dea marked a major milestone and a world first on 8 March with the first-ever injection of CO2 in the North Sea as part of Project Greensand.
Project Greensand includes capturing CO2 at an INEOS Oxide site in Zwijndrecht, Belgium, which is transported cross-border and stored in the Nini field in the Danish North Sea. The CO2 injected is stored at a depth of about 1,800 meters below the seabed.
The project envisages CO2 being transported by the offshore supply vessel Aurora Storm, which has been adapted so that it can safely transport containers of liquid CO2. In time, another type of vessel known as a CO2 carrier will be used for large volumes.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark officially initiated the injection of carbon dioxide at the event held in Esbjerg, Denmark, to celebrate the achievement. Lars Aagaard, the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, was also present, while President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen delivered a video address.
“This is a big moment for Europe’s green transition, and for our clean tech industry. The first-ever full value chain, for carbon capture and storage in Europe. You are showing that it can be done,” said Von der Leyen. “That we can grow our industry through innovation and competition, and at the same time, remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere, through ingenuity and cooperation. This is what Europe’s competitive sustainability is all about.”
By early April, residual emissions from the Belgian industrial plant, collectively representing up to 15,000 tonnes of CO2, will be stored during the ongoing demonstration phase.
In the short run, Project Greensand can store up to 1,5 million tonnes of CO2 per year in 2025/2026. In the final expansion phase, scheduled to begin in 2030, the project aims to store up to 8 million tonnes of CO2 per year in the area, 40 per cent of Denmark’s total emission reduction target.
Besides INEOS and Wintershall Dea, more than 20 other partners are involved in the project, including start-ups, independent institutes, and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), an institution within the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities. The Danish Government is supporting the project with a total of €26 million in public funding.
Transporting the CO2 from Belgium and Denmark has been made possible by a bilateral agreement that these two countries concluded last year. In December 2022, the Danish Energy Agency granted Project Greensand permission to store CO2 in the Danish subsoil as part of the pilot phase.
This February, INEOS and Wintershall Dea received the first full-scale CO2 storage permit for the Danish North Sea.
The FID for a full-scale project will commence after proof of concept, planned in the second half of 2023, and will have an estimated delivery duration of around two years after which carbon storage could be operational from around 2025.
“If Project Greensand and other CCS projects in the North Sea are to be successfully implemented, policymakers must establish the appropriate regulatory framework,” said Hugo Dijkgraaf, Member of Wintershall Dea’s Board of Executive Directors and the company’s Chief Technology Officer.
“The first steps have been taken. Now we need more bilateral agreements to link emissions-intensive industries to CO2 storage sites in the North Sea.”
To follow all the developments of Project Greensand, click HERE.