A project aiming to reduce the Port of Antwerp’s CO2 emissions has taken the next steps.

At the end of 2019 a consortium comprising Air Liquide, BASF, Borealis, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Fluxys, Port of Antwerp and Total joined forces to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of building CO2 infrastructure to support future carbon capture utilisation and Storage (CCUS) applications.

Dubbed Antwerp@C, the partners are aiming to keep CO2 out of the atmosphere and in doing so, make a significant contribution towards the climate objectives.

The project has the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions within the port (18.65 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017) by half between now and 2030.

“This promising project will enable us to play our pioneering role even more effectively. It demonstrates once more that collaboration is key for generating a cluster effect and creating innovative, operational added value,” said Port of Antwerp CEO Jacques Vandermeiren.

“If this shared infrastructure can actually be realised then it will benefit the entire industrial community in the port and make a valuable contribution towards the Flemish, Belgian and European climate goals.”

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Source: Port of Antwerp

Antwerp@C is currently carrying out a feasibility study with the support of the Flemish Agency for Innovation & Enterprise (Vlaams Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen, or VLAIO).

This will investigate the possibility of building a central ‘backbone’ in the form of a pipeline along the industrial zones on both the Right and Left banks of the Scheldt, along with various shared processing units, a shared CO2 liquefaction unit, interim storage facilities and cross-border transport of CO2, both by ship and by pipeline.

Since Belgium does not have suitable geological strata, international collaboration will be necessary to transport the CO2 across borders and store it permanently in e.g. depleted offshore gas fields.

For this purpose Antwerp@C is investigating the possibilities of transport to Rotterdam by pipeline or by ship to Norway.

Broad support – especially financial support – by the EU, the Belgian Federal Government and the Flemish Government will be essential to ensure the success of the project.

Antwerp@C is pursuing two initiatives for cross-border CO2 transport infrastructure, namely the CO2TransPorts project for a pipeline to Rotterdam and the Northern Lights project for transport to Norway by ship.

Since CCS is seen by the EU as an important lever to combat climate change these initiatives have been granted recognition as Projects of Common Interest (PCI).

Subsidy applications for detailed studies were submitted this week for both projects under the terms of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

A decision for grant award is expected in November. In addition, subsidy applications are being prepared for the European Innovation Fund as part of the Green Deal.

Wouter De Geest, Chairman of the Antwerp@C consortium, said, “As the largest petrochemical cluster in Europe we are assuming our responsibility with unprecedented collaboration between eight leading companies.” 

“Together we are investigating the possibilities for cutting CO2 emissions from our production processes, as well as additional innovative solutions for more sustainable petrochemistry in Antwerp.”