Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies joint venture Northern Lights and crop nutrition company Yara announced today the signing of the first-ever commercial cross-border CO2 transport and storage agreement.

According to Equinor CEO Anders Opedal, the agreement marks a “major milestone for the development of carbon capture, transport and storage,” viewed as a key tool for the decarbonization of heavy industries.

Opedal said:

“With the first commercial agreement for transportation and storage of CO2, we open a value chain that is critical for the world to reach net zero by 2050. Together with our partners, we are building infrastructure to decarbonise industry and energy, securing industrial activity and jobs in a low carbon future.”

The Northern Lights project was launched in late 2020, as the transport and storage component of Longship, the Norwegian Government’s full-scale carbon capture and storage project. Longship was unveiled in September 2020, with the government describing carbon capture and storage as a prerequisite for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement climate targets.

The first phase of the Northern Lights project is anticipated to be operational in 2024, with capacity to transport, inject and store up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Under the new agreement, 800,000 tonnes of CO2 from Yara’s ammonia and fertiliser plant in the Netherlands, Yara Sluiskil, will be captured, compressed and liquified in the Netherlands, and then transported for permanent storage 2,600 meters under the seabed in the Norwegian North Sea, beginning in early 2025.

Yara CEO Svein Tore Holsether, said:

“Action to decarbonise industry is urgent and Yara is a frontrunner. I am very pleased to announce that we are now on our way to removing CO2 emissions from our production plant in Sluiskil. This will take us a step further towards carbon-free food production and accelerate the supply of clean ammonia for fuel and power production.”

Following phase 1, Northern Lights aims to expand its capacity to a total of 5 million tonnes of annual storage, with phase 2 currently working toward a final investment decision.

Børre Jacobsen, Managing Director of Northern Lights, said:

“Yara is our first commercial customer, filling our available capacity in Northern Lights. With this we are establishing a market for transport and storage of CO2. From early 2025 we will be shipping the first tonnes of CO2 from the Netherlands to Norway. This will demonstrate that CCS is a climate tool for Europe.”

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