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CO2 capture and storage coming in Port of Rotterdam

Posted on January 3, 2024

Two carbon capture and storage projects have been announced for siting in the Port of Rotterdam.

The latest of these is a plan by ExxonMobil to build a pilot plant using carbonate fuel cell technology to capture CO2 emissions from industrial sources before they are released into the atmosphere.

The CO2 captured will then be transported through the CO2 transport and storage services joint venture Porthos for storage in depleted gas fields under the seabed of the North Sea.

The pilot plant aims to collect data on the performance and usability of the carbonate fuel cell technology, which was jointly developed with FuelCell Energy.

In particular, as a first that the technology is to be tested for CO2 capture in an industrial environment, it is intended to address possible technical issues that may occur and to provide better understanding of the costs of installing and operating such a plant.

The technology, which also produces valuable byproducts in the form of low carbon power, heat and hydrogen, is modular making it potentially ready for broadscale implementation.

Porthos transport and storage

Earlier in October, Porthos, a joint venture between EBN, Gasunie and the Port of Rotterdam authority to provide CO2 transport and storage services to industries in the port, committed to going ahead with the development of the first major transport and storage system in the Netherlands.

Construction is due to start in 2024 and the system, requiring an investment of €1.3 billion (US$1.4 billion), is due to become operational in 2026.

Porthos will transport the CO2 through the port of Rotterdam to the depleted gas fields approximately 20 km off the coast for permanent storage at a depth of 3 to 4km under the seabed.

Porthos plans to store about 2.5Mt/year for 15 years, totalling around 37Mt.

With that, Porthos has contracted its full storage capacity, which in addition to that from ExxonMobil will come from other companies including Air Liquide, Air Products and Shell from their individual capture installations.

The onshore transport system under construction allows for future CO2 storage projects.

“CO2 storage is crucial if we want to achieve the climate goals in the Netherlands,” says Porthos director Hans Meeuwsen.

“This investment decision is an important starting point for future developments in CO2 storage in the Netherlands.”

The CO2 storage facility is expected to reduce the port’s emissions by about 10%

Porthos has been recognised by the EU as a ‘Project of Common Interest’ and has been awarded €102 million in subsidy.


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