In a Government White Paper to the Norwegian parliament, the Government proposes to launch a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Norway. The project has been named “Longship”, Langskip in Norwegian.
“Longship is a milestone in the Government’s industry and climate efforts. The project will lead to emission cuts and facilitate development of new technology and thus new jobs,” says Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
The Government proposes to first implement carbon capture at Norcem’s cement factory in Brevik. In addition, the Government also intends to fund Fortum Oslo Varme’s waste incineration facility in Oslo, providing that the project secures sufficient own funding as well as funding from the EU or other sources.
“For Longship to be a successful climate project for the future, other countries also have to start using this technology. This is one of the reasons why our funding is conditional on others contributing financially as well,” says Solberg.
Longship also comprises funding for the transport and storage project Northern Lights, a joint project between Equinor, Shell and Total. Northern Lights will transport liquid CO2 from capture facilities to a terminal at Øygarden in Vestland County. From there, CO2 will be pumped through pipelines to a reservoir beneath the sea bottom.
For many years, various Norwegian governments have supported technology development, test and pilot projects, and underscored the importance of carbon capture and storage as an important climate tool internationally. The present Government has followed up this work and made targeted efforts on CCS since 2013.
“Building bit by bit in collaboration with the industry has been important to us in order to be confident that the project is feasible. This approach has worked well, and we now have a decision basis. Longship involves building new infrastructure, and we are preparing the ground for connecting other carbon capture facilities to a carbon storage facility in Norway. This approach is a climate policy that works,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru.
“Longship is the greatest climate project in Norwegian industry ever. We will cut emissions, not progress,” Bru adds.
According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, CCS will be necessary to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in line with the climate targets at the lowest possible cost. There are currently few facilities in operation on a global basis. The world therefore needs more projects that bring learning and technological development. In turn, they will help reduce costs. If CCS is to become an efficient climate policy instrument, new facilities must be established in Europe and globally.
Norway has committed itself to cutting domestic emissions by 50-55% by 2030.
“For the world to achieve the goals that we have committed ourselves to in the Paris Agreement, we need large-scale carbon capture and storage. Not all emissions can be cut by applying renewable energy. In several industrial processes, such as production of cement, CCS is the only technology that can cut emissions. With Longship, Norway will support development of climate solutions for the future,” says Minister of Climate and Environment, Sveinung Rotevatn.
Norway is in a good position to contribute to the development of CCS. The country has a strong technological community in the field of carbon capture, transport and storage. For decades, the development and operation of the CO2 storage projects on the Sleipner and Snøhvit fields have demonstrated safe carbon storage on the Norwegian continental shelf.
“Effective climate policies must be positive industrial policies. Through Longship, the Government will strengthen Norwegian industry by enabling enterprises to meet the climate requirements of the future. The project is an important contribution to green growth and will secure and create new jobs in the industry,” says Minister of Children and Families, Kjell Ingolf Ropstad.
Longship facilitates the further development of CCS both in Norway and Europe. The project has been matured to a level required for an investment decision, and the decision basis shows that all parts of the project are feasible.
The project also involves risks. For Longship to have the desired effect, an ambitious development of climate policies in Europe is needed. The risks are primarily connected to the economy of the project, such as the technical integration of the different parts of the project, the scope of following projects and necessary support schemes for such projects from the EU and individual countries. What is not at risk is the safety and integrity of the storage solution for CO2.
The total investments in Longship are estimated at NOK 17.1 billion. This includes both Norcem, Fortum Oslo Varme as well as Northern Lights. The operating costs for 10 years of operation are estimated at NOK 8 billion. The total cost estimate is thus NOK 25.1 billion. Longship will receive state aid in accordance with negotiated agreements. The state’s part of these costs are estimated at NOK 16.8 billion.