The concept is based on a collective pipeline that runs through Rotterdam’s port area. This pipeline will serve as a basic infrastructure that a variety of industrial parties can connect to in order to dispose of the CO2 captured at their facilities. A share of this CO2 will be used for greenhouse farming in Zuid-Holland. Most of it will be transported via a pipeline to an empty gas field located some 25 km off the coast in the North Sea.
Here, the CO2 will be injected into an empty natural gas field under the seabed consisting of sandstone reservoir rock. By 2030, we expect to be able to store between 2 and 5 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
The feasibility study that was rounded off in early 2018 suggests that the Porthos project is both technically feasible and cost-effective in comparison with other measures aimed at contributing to the Netherlands’ climate targets. Over the next few months, the partners will be working on the project’s financial and technical substantiation. In addition, they will make a start on preparations for the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
This planning is geared towards an investment decision in 2020. To a large extent, this is dependent on the role assigned to CCUS in the National Climate Agreement.
The EU has recognised Porthos as a Project of Common Interest. For more information, visit: ec.europa.eu/energy
CCUS in the energy transition
The main outlines of the future Climate Agreement recognise CCUS as a necessary part of a broad set of measures that can be used to reduce the Netherlands’ CO2 emissions, in tandem with fundamental innovations in production processes and chains. The latter group includes biobased industry, renewable energy, electrification, recycling, the development of hydrogen as an energy carrier and geothermal applications.
While the capture and storage of CO2 is a means rather than an end, it does present a solution for reducing our CO2 emissions in the short term during the current transition. At present, local industry in Rotterdam still has insufficient renewable or circular alternatives that can be utilised in the short term to lower its CO2 emissions. CCUS allows these companies to effectively cut back their CO2 emissions during their transition to biobased, renewable or circular alternatives. However, increasing the sustainability of production processes remains the primary objective in the longer term.