Norway’s full-scale CCS project backed by European regulator

Article by Amanda Doyle

THE European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Surveillance Authority has approved the Norwegian full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, which would allow the Norwegian Government to provide €2.1bn (US$2.4bn) in state aid to the project.

EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) ensures that Norway abides by the rules of the European Economic Area, and this includes state aid awards. The Norwegian Government could cover around 80% of the €2.57bn project, which includes construction costs and ten years of operation. ESA has now approved the €2.1bn award, which is the largest single state aid award ever approved by the authority. However, the Norwegian Government still has to make a final investment decision project, which is expected later this year.

Norway’s full-scale CCS project will allow the construction of carbon capture facilities at Fortum Oslo Varme’s waste-to-energy plant in Oslo, which recently completed a successful pilot stage, and Norcem’s cement plant in Brevik. Captured CO2 will be transported and stored offshore, as part of the Northern Lights project managed by Equinor, Shell, Total.

Bente Angell-Hansen, President of ESA, said: “This CCS project is a groundbreaking step towards tackling climate change – an issue that affects all of us. Protecting the environment is at the heart of the European agenda, and ESA is pleased to work with Norway and the European Commission to find ways to support this important goal.”

Olav Øye, Senior Advisor on CCS at environmental group Bellona, said: "Norway is a positive driving force, but must do even more. Both legal, political and business initiatives point in the direction of a much-needed escalation for CCS in Europe."

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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