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    Dutch Gasunie Eyes EU CCS Funding


The Porthos project is in line for an EU grant.

by: William Powell

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Dutch Gasunie Eyes EU CCS Funding

Dutch gas transmission system operator Gasunie is expecting €102 ($118)mn in European Union funding for its Porthos carbon capture and  storage (CCS) project, it said October 5. Conditional on European parliamentary approval, the money will cover at least a fifth of the €450-€500mn cost, the state entity said. 

Porthos, a joint venture comprising Gasunie, state producer EBN and port authorities, will store some 2.5mn metric tons/yr of CO2 under the North Sea, with the emissions coming from Rotterdam plants owned by Air Liquide, Air Products and the majors ExxonMobil and Shell. 

"This is equivalent to 10% of the total emissions produced by Rotterdam’s industrial sector. As such, the Porthos project will significantly contribute to the Netherlands’s achievement of its climate targets," Gasunie said. 

Porthos is the most advanced project focussing on the large-scale storage of CO2 within the EU and the public funding will come from the budget of the Connecting Europe Facility.

Independent UK consultancy Xodus has put a price of $50/mt on the operation, which it said was close to the price the government had in mind. Part of the EU's contribution will be used to construct a pipeline big enough to allow other companies to use the facility. 

The four companies will pay for the capture of carbon at source but they will be spared the EU emission trading scheme allowances for the stored carbon. The Dutch government is prepared to cover the difference between the companies’ total costs and savings via the state green incentive scheme, SDE++. But Gasunie said that it is not known yet if the funding, a form of state aid, will actually be awarded. 

Permit applications need to be approved next year. Porthos and the four participating firms will make their final investment decision based on these results. According to planning, the Porthos system will be built 2022-23 and start operations in 2024.