Northern Lights CCS project grabs a slice of EU's Connecting Europe Facility funding

Northern Lights CCS project grabs a slice of EU funding

The European Commission (EC) has awarded €131 million for the Northern Lights carbon capture and storage (CCS) project under its Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding scheme. A total of eight cross-border energy infrastructure projects are getting a part of the EU funds.

Source: Northern Lights JV DA

EU Member States have endorsed the EC’s proposal to invest €594 million of EU funds in eight cross-border energy infrastructure projects under the CEF for Trans-European Networks for Energy.

In the last call for funding proposals open to Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) from the fifth PCI list of November 2021, five CO2 network projects, one gas storage project, and two projects in the electricity sector have been selected for funding.

Almost €480 million will be awarded to four CO2 transport and storage projects, which, as the EC says, constitute the first building blocks of a future Europe-wide carbon value chain that are scheduled for completion before the end of the decade and are therefore expected to contribute to the EU’s 2030 decarbonization objectives.

For the Northern Lights cross-border project linking CO2 capture initiatives in several EU Member States with a future storage site at sea on the Norwegian continental shelf €131 million is intended. The proposed CEF grant will support the expansion of the CO2 import terminal in Øygarden in Norway and the construction of a 100-kilometer offshore pipeline to the storage site.

It was reported earlier this week that a study had been conducted to assess the estimated carbon footprint of the Northern Lights CCS project’s CO2 transport and storage value chain throughout all phases of its lifecycle, from construction to decommissioning.

“I am very happy that the European Union has proposed to grant Northern Lights with CEF-funding. This confirms Northern Lights’s role as key for reaching European climate policy objectives, including contributing to a climate-neutral economy by 2050,” said Børre Jacobsen, Managing Director of Northern Lights.

“The CEF funding will be a positive contribution to Northern Lights’ work to further expand our storage site below the North Sea. We are now looking forward to entering into dialogue with the EU.”

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The EC is also awarding €157 million to CO2 infrastructure in the Dutch port of Rotterdam, consisting of an import terminal for the reception of CO2 from carbon capture sites in various Member States (CO2NEXT project, €33 million in CEF grant) and of a 200-kilometer undersea trunkline (Aramis project, €124 million in CEF grant) connecting the port to the future CO2 storage site in a depleted offshore gas field.

€189 million is intended for a multimodal CO2 export hub in the port of Dunkirk in France, called D’Artagnan, while funding for works worth €100 million will be awarded to the Gabreta smart grids project located between Czechia and Germany.

Furthermore, the existing Depomures natural gas storage facility in Romania will receive funding worth €12.77 million to increase its working capacity and its daily injection and withdrawal rates and the EU CCS Interconnector, a CO2 infrastructure project Gdansk in Poland, and the project to reinforce the Lonny-Achêne-Gramme electricity interconnector between France and Belgium will both be awarded funding for studies necessary to their implementation, worth €2.54 million and €1.22 million respectively.

This announcement follows the Commission’s call for proposals for PCIs in April, the evaluation of applications and a positive vote by Member States on the EC’s proposal in the CEF Coordination Committee, which took place on December 7. The formal adoption of the decision will follow in the coming weeks.

The Commission adopts an EU list of PCIs every two years. In November, the EC adopted the first list of PCIs and Projects of Mutual Interest (PMIs) that is fully in line with the European Green Deal, with hydrogen and electrolyzer projects included in the list for the first time and multiple hybrid interconnector projects in the North Sea and Baltic Sea among the proposed cross-border energy infrastructure projects.

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