Porthos CCS project: Industry targets €2 billion in Dutch subsidies

Four companies Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil and Shell have registered for a total of €2 billion from the sustainable energy transition subsidy scheme (SDE++) as part of the Porthos project for CO2 capture and storage in Rotterdam.

Port of Rotterdam CO₂ Transport Hub and Offshore Storage (Porthos) project is on schedule to store an annual amount of 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 from the industry in empty gas fields beneath the North Sea as from 2024.

It is a joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Gasunie and EBN.

According to Port of Rotterdam, the final sum may be considerably lower, due to the rising price of emission rights (ETS) in the next 15 years.

Between 2008 and 2019, a total of approximately €4.5 billion in SDE funds went to many projects in the Netherlands. Because of these projects about 42 million tonnes of CO2 less has ended up in the atmosphere.

With even less than half the sum, the Porthos project will realise an almost equally big reduction: some 37 million tonnes of CO2 in a 15-year period.

Next Steps

It is expected that the subsidy will be granted to the four companies next spring.

According to expectations, the permit procedures will be completed by late 2021.

The companies will use 2021 especially to prepare for the construction of the capture plants.

This year, the Porthos project organisation (EBN, Gasunie, Port of Rotterdam Authority) will be working on the technical preparations of laying pipes on land and on the sea bed, building the compressor station, and adjusting the platform at sea.

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The final investment decision for Porthos should go through in 2022, after which the realisation can proceed.

Major developments last year included submission of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and several permit applications, making arrangements between Porthos and the four companies that want to use the Porthos system, and the EU promise to contribute €102 million to the project.