The port will start capturing CO2 and store it deep under the North Sea. Dutch environmentalists welcomed this surprising message with open arms this week. Until recently, the energy transition of the port of Rotterdam seemed to have come to a complete standstill. The CO2 emissions even seem to have increased since 2007. However, it is the port authority’s ambition to be more environmentally friendly and to fulfil that ambition, a new innovation has been developed that could soon become a game-changer. If the port wants to meet the Paris climate agreement, it has to halve its CO2 emissions in the next 13 years, and reduce them to zero by 2050. That is why the Port of Rotterdam, Gasunie and EBN started the Porthos Initiative (Port of Rotterdam Co2 Transport Hub & Offshore Storage). These companies jointly came up with a system that enables the capture, transport and storage of CO2. The CO2 is captured at the source, after which it can be stored deep under the North Sea in empty natural gas fields. The system has proven to be technically feasible and financially viable, and preparations have been given the go-ahead this week.
Part of the project will see a pipeline network being installed through the port area, to which companies can be connected. The CO2 is partially used for the horticultural sector, but the majority will be stored in an empty natural gas field 25 kilometers from the North Sea coast.
It disappears into a closed reservoir that formerly contained natural gas. The expectation is that each year, around 2 to 5 million tonnes of CO2 can be stored. Perhaps the filling of empty gas fields could be an interesting solution for the problems in Groningen, where earthquakes caused by emptying gas fields are causing a lot of damage and suffering.
This post is also available in: Dutch