Porthos focuses on transporting and storing CO2 that is captured by various companies. The companies will supply their CO2 to a collective pipeline that runs through the Rotterdam port area. The CO2 will then be pressurised in a compressor station. The CO2 will be transported through an offshore pipeline to a platform in the North Sea, approximately 20 kilometres off the coast. From this platform, the CO2 will be pumped in an empty gas field. The empty gas fields are situated in a sealed reservoir of porous sandstone, more than 3 kilometres beneath the North Sea.
It is expected that, in its early years, the project will be able to store 2 to 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
Porthos has been recognised by the European Union as a Project of Common Interest. For more information, please visit ec.europa.eu/energy.
Porthos will focus on three main issues towards the end of 2019 and in 2020. These issues must be concluded so that a final investment decision (FID) can be taken in 2021:
- Technical development of the transport and storage infrastructure: pipelines on land and at sea, compressor station and storage facilities;
- Environmental Impact Assessment and permits;
- Agreements with companies to supply CO2 and with the government to enable CCUS.
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.
CCUS in the energy transition
The National Climate Agreement contains a broad package of measures for CO2 reduction. Examples include a sharp increase in renewable energy, use of residual heat and geothermal energy, increased insulation for buildings, electric vehicles, process industry efficiency and recycling. A choice was also made in the Climate Agreement to develop capture, transport and storage of CO2.
For a section of industry, CCUS is currently the fastest way to substantially reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere for relatively low costs. CCUS is an important technique for the chemical sector, hydrogen producers and refineries to significantly reduce their production process impact in the short term, while working on fundamental and structural innovations to production processes. The long-term objective continues to be sustainability.
Over 16% of CO2 emissions in the Netherlands take place in the Rotterdam port area, making the region’s contribution to the national climate objectives extremely important. As well as CCUS, the options of putting CO2 to good use will also be examined. A relatively small amount of CO2 from Rotterdam industry is already being used by greenhouse horticulture in South Holland, where it enables plants to grow faster. The Porthos infrastructure will also be suitable for transporting CO2 for use by industry, if there is demand for this in the future.