04 April 2019

Companies register interest for Porthos CO2 storage project

In recent weeks, various companies have expressed interest in participating in the Porthos CO2 transport and storage project in Rotterdam. 

The Porthos project is an initiative of EBN, Gasunie and the Port of Rotterdam Authority. The objective of the project is to achieve a generally accessible transport and storage infrastructure into which multiple parties can supply CO2. The project organisation, Porthos, had indicated previously that it expected to be able to store 2 to 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year in depleted offshore gas fields. Porthos held a so-called Expression of Interest process in order to obtain a clear picture of which companies are interested in this, and when and how much CO2 they are willing and able to supply. Various companies have registered and have expressed more than sufficient interest to enable the initiators to continue with the follow-up studies for the project. Although an expression of interest is not legally binding, Porthos sees this as an important indication of the demand for the construction of the CO2 infrastructure. 

Work took place on the system design over the past year. The total investment costs for this are estimated at €400 to €500 million, making this a project in which CO2 emissions can be reduced for relatively low costs in comparison with other reduction measures. A decision on the realisation of the Porthos project is expected to be taken by the end of 2020 and largely depends on the importance placed on CCS in the Climate Agreement.

An environmental impact assessment is being produced for Porthos to clarify all spatial planning and other interests and to weigh these against each other. As preparation for this, the draft Memorandum on Scope and Level of Detail (MSLD) has been available for inspection for the past two months. Two evening public sessions were held in Rozenburg and Oostvoorne in which 41 visitors were informed about the project. The c-MSLD precedes the production of the Environmental Impact Assessment, which is needed to request permits for the project.

There is considerable interest for the project from the European Union, as carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) is considered to be an important measure in combatting climate change. Porthos is a unique project as it is developing a shared infrastructure to which various companies can connect. The EU has already recognised the project as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), which is why the European Commission recently made a €6.5 million subsidy available for follow-up studies. So-called PCI status has also been requested for the coming project phase.