Northern Lights; Source: Sensorlink

Shell hands out work on Northern Lights to Norwegian firm

Norwegian non-intrusive corrosion/erosion monitoring systems supplier Sensorlink has secured a corrosion monitoring contract with Shell Trading and Shipping Company, a subsidiary of the UK-headquartered energy giant Shell, for the Northern Lights carbon capture and storage (CCS) project.

Northern Lights; Source: Sensorlink

Thanks to the deal with Shell, Sensorlink will provide Swarm UT sensors in CO₂ tanks onboard three ships currently under construction. These sensors, which are strategically installed at low spots of the tanks where water is most likely to accumulate, are designed to detect and monitor corrosion. According to the Norwegian player, the sensors will send online, high-accuracy wall thickness data directly to the ships’ control rooms, enabling early detection of corrosion.

Kjell Wold, Business Development Director at Sensorlink, commented: “As part of the energy transition, there is an increase in the transportation of CO₂. While CO₂ itself is not corrosive, the presence of small amounts of water combined with contamination can lead to significant internal corrosion. We are enthusiastic to see that our technology and solutions also add value in targeted efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Northern Lights project, which delivers CO2 transport and storage as a service, is part of Norway’s efforts to develop a full-scale carbon capture and storage value chain. Owned by Equinor, Shell, and TotalEnergies, the onshore and offshore facilities are developed by Equinor on behalf of Northern Lights JV. Phase 1 with a capacity to inject up 1.5 million tons of CO2 per year is scheduled to be ready for operation in 2024.

Captured and liquefied CO2 from European emitters will be loaded and delivered to the receiving terminal in Øygarden on board two LNG-powered, wind-assisted CO2 transportation shipsAll twelve CO2 storage tanks for the Northern Lights carbon capture and storage project were installed by June 2023 at the project’s CO2-receiving facilities in Øygarden, Norway.

The construction of the first two Northern Lights’ ships surged past the 60% completion mark at the end of November 2023, bringing to life what has been described as the world’s first large vessels tailor-made for liquified CO2 transport. A binding commercial agreement was also penned with Yara International to pave the way for the world’s first cross-border transportation and storage of CO2.

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In February 2023, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) inked bareboat charter and time charter contracts with Northern Lights JV for the management of the third CO2 ship. Northern Lights is said to be the first industrial CCS project to develop an open and flexible infrastructure to safely store CO2 from industries across Europe.

This project is part of the full-scale Longship CCS project that entails the transportation, receipt, and permanent storage of CO2 in a reservoir in the northern North Sea.