Why is this CO2 project being developed?
Porthos offers companies the opportunity to reduce their CO2 emissions during the period in which they have not yet made the transition to biobased, renewable or circular. This enables companies to contribute to the Netherlands’ climate objectives and to the energy transition, even if the alternatives are still not sufficiently available or developed.
CCUS can be introduced more quickly than, for instance, the electrification of industrial processes or the use of ‘green’ hydrogen as energy source. CCUS is also a more inexpensive measure than for example switching homes from natural gas or driving electric. The long-term objective continues to be the sustainability of production processes.
Where will the CO2 pipeline be laid?
The pipeline on land will be laid in the existing pipeline strip along the A15 via Botlek-Vondelingenplaat up to Maasvlakte. Porthos is currently looking into two possible routes: a northern and a southern route. For both routes, the pipeline on land will be approximately 30-33 km. A pipeline will also be laid beneath the North Sea seabed to an empty gas field some 20 km off the coast.
The final route choice depends on various factors, including the technical possibilities, the location of the compressor station, the costs and the environmental impact. The latter will be investigated in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
In which fields will the CO2 be stored? Who owns the fields?
Porthos is focusing on the transport and storage of CO2 in empty gas fields P18-2, P18-4 and P18-6. TAQA has extracted gas from these fields, and the fields are available for storage. The existing P18A platform operated by TAQA can be used for the injection of CO2.
When will the storage of CO2 start?
Porthos is currently working on the technical details, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and is also making agreements with companies and the government. Porthos expects to take a final investment decision in mid-2021. As soon as the investment decision has been taken, the construction of the infrastructure will start. It is expected that the system will be operational by the end of 2023.
Which parties will be supplying CO2?
Porthos signed partnership agreements (Joint Development Agreements) with four companies in autumn 2019: ExxonMobil, Shell, Air Liquide and Air Products. The agreements stated that the companies will work in parallel over the coming nine months on preparations for the capture, transport and storage of CO2. The companies’ commitment is not binding: the companies can still withdraw, and other companies can join.
What is a Joint Development Agreement?
Porthos is making agreements with companies that are interested in supplying CO2. In the Joint Development Agreements (JDAs), Porthos and the companies agree to jointly work towards the conclusion of transport and storage contracts.
The companies commit to start with the permit procedures and prepare the design of their capture installation. Porthos commits to continue with the permit procedures and the technical preparation of the project.
Will Porthos receive subsidies for this project?
Porthos is attempting to obtain financial support for the costs made in preparing the project and for the infrastructure investment. Various funds are available, and these are currently being examined, including funds from the national government and the European Union.
Porthos received € 1.2 million from RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) in 2018 and a grant of € 6.5 million from the European Commission in 2019 for the current preparatory studies. Porthos also aims to obtain a subsidy from Brussels to realise the infrastructure.
How does Porthos differ from previous CO2 transport and storage initiatives?
Across the world, there’s over 20 years of experience with CCS. What makes Porthos special is that it is one of the first CCUS projects to focus on the storage of CO2 from multiple companies and to use an ‘open access’ approach. The system will be established as a kind of utility infrastructure for use by various companies. This means that considerable cost advantages can be obtained compared with stand-alone projects.
In contrast to the ROAD project (Rotterdam Storage and Capture Demonstration Project), Porthos is focusing on the industries that at the moment have no sustainable alternatives, such as oil refineries and the chemical sector. Another important point is that storage in the Porthos project takes place exclusively offshore and not on land beneath existing buildings.