Could Norway change into a graveyard for CO2 emissions? | EUROtoday

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Pumping industrial emissions into the depths of the Earth’s crust – is it a silver bullet to pump the breaks on local weather change? Norway says sure, because it prepares to launch the world’s first cross-border carbon storage facility. But will it minimize international emissions? Or simply greenwash and extend the identical previous polluting practices?

Carbon seize: The solely hope for clear cement?

Cement manufacturing accounts for about 6 p.c of world emissions, so right here at Heidelberg’s plant in Brevik they are going to be capturing 50 p.c of the CO2 from their chimneys and retailer it as an alternative of emitting it. The fuel is separated from the remainder of the emissions, then cooled off and compressed right into a liquid type that’s shipped away to a storage facility.

Separating CO2 from the opposite waste gases is pricey and vitality intensive, however the Brevik plant makes use of recycled warmth from the cement kiln to energy its desorber. The trade additionally argues that CO2 is an inevitable by-product in cement manufacturing, and that they will solely scale back present emissions by a 3rd via different means, making carbon seize and storage (CCS) the one solution to make their product carbon impartial.

A remaining resting place for CO2

The ships will arrive on the Northern Lights facility off the West coast the place a set of pumps will unload the liquefied CO2 into the terminal, and from there, a pipeline will take it 100 kilometres out to sea and inject it 2 kilometres below the seabed.

The under-sea storage aquifer will retailer as much as 1.5 million tonnes per yr in its first part, with a view to scale it as much as 5 million per yr in 2030. And the purchasers are lining up: aside from Heidelberg Materials, Dutch fertiliser large Yara and Danish vitality firm Orsted have already signed offers to the tune of 1.23 million tonnes of CO2 per yr.

Northern Lights’s Managing Director Borre Jacobsen believes that if demand rises sufficient within the years to come back, pipelines may spring up throughout Europe to move carbon from industrial hubs to amenities like this one.

A money cow for oil and fuel giants

The Norwegian authorities financed 80 p.c of the venture – Total, Shell, and Equinor lined the remaining 20 p.c. The oil giants, who will reap the earnings, argue they’ve the mandatory experience. After all, it’s a lot the identical expertise as oil and fuel extraction – drilling wells, transporting pure fuel, and constructing pipelines. And what’s extra, they’ve been injecting CO2 into oil wells because the Nineteen Fifties to extract extra oil from growing old fields.

But is it clever to place the fossil fuels trade on the coronary heart of the local weather resolution?

Norway: A CCS powerhouse

Northern Lights is just the tip of the iceberg of Norway’s CCS ambitions: The Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre says the nation’s carbon storage capability may climb to 40 million tonnes per yr by 2030.

What’s extra, he presents the Nordic petro-state as the long run CCS supplier for the EU, vaunting their a long time of expertise within the oil and fuel trade as what makes them uniquely certified to paved the way.

A examine in greenwashing?

But what if CCS is nothing greater than a distraction?

Silje Lundberg from NGO Oil Change International condemns the venture as an act of greenwashing: “The fact that Total, Equinor and Shell are the ones that are financing this project also just goes to show that they are using it as a way of prolonging the industry instead of actually looking into real solutions”.