Frequently asked questions

Why is there a public invitation to companies to submit such an Expression of Interest?

The Porthos project is being developed as a generally accessible transport and storage infrastructure into which multiple parties can supply CO2. Each company has the opportunity to register to supply CO2 to the system, and all companies will be treated equally. These are the reasons for the public invitation to companies. The process also enables companies to make their requirements known. This information can be used to optimise the system.

What is an Expression of Interest?

In an Expression of Interest companies indicate their concrete interest in supplying CO2 to Porthos for storage beneath the North Sea or for use in greenhouses. The companies give an indication of how much CO2 this concerns and when they would like and are able to supply this.

In which respect is this project different from previous CO​2 capture and storage initiatives?

The point of departure for the Rotterdam CCUS project Porthos is a public collector pipeline for CO2: a robust basis infrastructure, in other words. Companies that want to dispose of their CO2 can connect to this network. Today, but also years from now. This open basic infrastructure concept yields substantial cost advantages compared to independent, single-user projects. A share of the captured CO2 will be used by local greenhouses, while the main share will be transported via a pipeline to an empty gas field some 25 km off the Dutch coast, in the North Sea. Here, the CO2 will be pumped down to depleted gas reservoirs deep under the seabed that are surrounded by impermeable sandstone. In contrast with the ROAD project, Porthos focuses on industrial activities that have few sustainable alternatives to turn to at this point in time – oil refining and chemical production, for example. By storing CO2 in the North Sea seabed, we expect to alleviate the immediate concerns for the built-up environment.

Which gas field will the CO​2​ be stored in? And who owns this field?

There are a number of different fields off the Dutch coast. We are currently talking with TAQA to determine whether its P18 site in the North Sea could serve as a storage location. This would be a logical choice since the TAQA fields are closest to Maasvlakte.

Where will you be realising the CO​2​ pipeline?

Right now, we are examining two possible routes for the pipeline. The most logical option would be to follow the existing pipeline corridor next to the A15 between Vondelingenplaat (Pernis) and Maasvlakte. From there, the pipeline could be laid under the North Sea seabed to an empty gas field some 25 km off the coast. Which route is decided on depends on a number of factors, including the various technical options, the site of the compressor substation, the costs and environmental impact. The latter aspect will be studied in the project’s EIA.

Is this project supported by public funding?

The further development of this project hinges on funding support, which is why we have applied for a grant. In July 2018, RVO awarded Porthos funding in the context of the ‘Topsector Energie’ scheme. We are also looking into the possibility of attracting EU funding support.

When will we start storing CO​2​?

We cannot give a definite date just yet. We are currently working on the project’s financial and technical details and expect to be able to take a final investment decision in the course of 2019. At that point we will also have a clearer picture of when the project will be starting. Whether or not the project is greenlighted actually depends to a large extent on the Climate Agreement. After all, this agreement will be outlining how we plan to reduce CO2 emissions in the Netherlands, and which role is played by CCUS in this context.

Which parties will be supplying CO​2​ to the network?

This is still being determined. We are currently talking with a number of industrial parties in Rotterdam’s port area that release a large volume of CO2 – oil refineries and chemical firms, for example. A number of parties have clearly stated their intention to jointly examine possible avenues for further development of this project with us in the next phase.

Why is this CO​2​ project being developed?

To reduce the volume of CO2 released into the atmosphere in the short term. This in turn will contribute to the achievement of the Netherlands’ climate targets and the energy transition. CCUS can be implemented within a far shorter timeframe than e.g. the electrification of industrial processes (combined with the use of electric power from renewable sources) or the utilisation of
‘green’ hydrogen as an energy carrier. For oil refineries and chemical plants, CCUS presents an opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions during these sectors’ transition towards biobased, renewable or circular processes.