MOL: CCS Baltic Consortium’s CO2 value chain project granted EU PCI status

The European Commission has granted the status of Project of Common Interest (PCI) to the carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and transportation project in Lithuania and Latvia developed by CCS Baltic Consortium.

Illustration. Courtesy of MOL

The consortium comprises Akmenės cementas, KN Energies, Larvik Shipping, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and SCHWENK Latvija SIA.

The project has been recognized as a key cross-border infrastructure project which will significantly contribute to the implementation of the energy policy and climate goals of the European Union (EU).

There are only fourteen CO2 infrastructure projects listed in this award round as either PCI or Project of Mutual Interest (PMI) which is for key projects between the EU and non-EU countries. PCI and PMI can benefit from a number of advantages including eligibility for financial support named Connecting Europe Facility.

The consortium was formed in 2022 with the purpose to create a carbon capture and storage (CCS) value chain in Lithuania and Latvia, which would include capture of CO2 generated in the industrial sector and onshore and offshore transportation to permanent storage sites.

Many works such as analysis, feasibility studies and applications for this grant have been completed for the project, with commencement of operations scheduled in 2030.

Courtesy of MOL

The PCI grant is expected to accelerate future activities for the project’s materialization. Currently in Lithuania, as well as in neighboring Poland and Latvia, underground CO2 storage is prohibited. Therefore, CCS can become an important option for companies in these countries facing challenges to achieve their decarbonization goals solely through process optimization.

The consortium hopes that the CCS value chain created by the project will be used widely in the region and contribute to the resolution of climate issues on a larger scale.

“This area is particularly relevant in sectors for which a quick transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy resources is difficult, for example in our industry – cement production. What’s more, CCS is one of the most advanced technological solutions that could significantly contribute to the decarbonisation of the cement industry,” Artūras Zaremba, CEO of Akmenės cementas, commented.

“The project launched by the ‘CCS Baltic Consortium” is the first one of its kind in the Baltic region. In contrast, the rest of Europe has already progressed in exploring the prospects of carbon capture as a viable decarbonization option. Teaming up with partners in the ‘CCS Baltic Consortium,’ we’re committing to creating a sustainable carbon capture and storage value chain, contributing to EU’s energy and climate goals. Also this initiative reflects KN dedication to a more sustainable future,” Darius Šilenskis, CEO of KN Energies, said.

“Larvik Shipping is honored to be part of the CCS Baltic Consortium. With a unique track record of safe and reliable carriage of liquified CO2 by ship over the past 35 years of our operations, we look forward to bringing our experience in the sector to benefit the Baltic CCS project and emitters across the region,” Espen Tollevik, Managing Director at Larvik Shipping, stated.

“We are very grateful that our continuous activities have been evaluated in the form of PCI grant. We, as a shipping company and an interconnector of CCS value chain, will devote ourselves to offering flexible and sustainable solutions so that the project can take on an important role in decarbonization of the Baltic area and more widely Europe,” Suryan Wirya-Simunovic, Executive Officer at MOL, noted.

“Carbon capture is simultaneously one of our industry’s key tasks for the next decade, a major technical challenge and a pre-condition to the sustainability of and, ultimately, to the competitiveness of the GHG-intensive industrial sites like ours. To enable both processing and storage of the hopefully soon-to-be-sequestered CO2, we need to partner with relevant experienced industry players who know how to handle and deliver this GHG at great quantities. Hence we are part of CCS Baltic Consortium which seeks to set up respective infrastructure and provide an option for CO2 captured in the Baltics to be permanently stored offshore or brought to processing hubs,” Reinhold Schneider, CEO of SCHWENK Northern Europe, concluded.