Norway Approves Northern Lights CO2 Storage Plan
Norway's petroleum ministry has approved a development plan for the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage plan, it said on March 9, after final agreements on state support were signed with Equinor and its partners behind the project.
Northern Lights aims to store offshore up to 1.5mn metric tons/year of CO2 from Norwegian industry in its first phase, rising to 5mn mt/yr at a later stage. It forms part of larger Longship initiative, touted as Norway's biggest ever climate project, which also involves CO2 capture operations.
The development cost of Northern Lights' first stage is estimated at nearly Nkr 6bn ($708mn) under the plan, while annual operating costs are expected to come to Nkr 370mn. The project will receive liquefied CO2 by ship at Oygarden, where it will be regasified and piped offshore to a storage site 2,600 m below the seabed southwest of the Troll field.
Equinor's partners at Northern Lights are France's Total and Anglo-Dutch Shell. The group awarded key engineering contracts for onshore plant facilities at Oygarden and a CO2 subsea injection system to Norwegian firm Kvaerner and its parent Aker Solutions respectively in December.
Norway's parliament endorsed Longship in January, a month after approving initial funding for the scheme. The government also announced in January it would steadily increase overall tax on CO2 emissions to Nkr 2,000 ($235)/mt by the end of the decade, which will encourage emitters to use projects like Northern Lights.
The Northern Lights partners are already in talks a number of European companies on CO2 storage, the ministry said, and has already signed memoranda with eight. "I believe more will want to connect to the storage now that the project has been approved," minister Tina Bru said in a statement.