Microsoft has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Norwegian multinational energy company Equinor to explore transportation and storage of captured carbon dioxide (CO2) as the tech giant looks to reduce its carbon emissions.

In January, Microsoft pledged to become carbon negative by 2030 and by 2050 the American company said it will remove from the environment all the carbon the company the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.

Under the technology collaboration with Equinor, Microsoft will become a partner in the Northern Lights carbon capture and storage (CCS) project.

It will explore the use of Northern Lights’ CO2 transport and storage facility as part of Microsoft’s portfolio of carbon capture, transportation and storage project.

“Carbon capture and storage is a proven technology and has the potential to play a key role in decarbonising energy and industries across sectors to meet international climate targets,” said Equinor Executive Vice-President Irene Rummelhoff.

“We look forward to working together with Microsoft and the Northern Lights partners to develop digital technologies for Northern Lights.”

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Source: Ole Jørgen Bratland

Irene Rummelhoff, Equinor’s executive vice president for Marketing, Midstream and Processing (MMP), and Brad Smith, president of Microsoft.

Brad Smith, Microsoft President, said one of the world’s imperatives is the need to develop new ways to capture, transport, and permanently store carbon.

“This will require enormous investment and innovation, including a huge amount of computing power and data,” he continued.

“As a company, Microsoft is excited about and committed to supporting promising carbon capture approaches.”

“Our goal is not only to contribute our technology and know-how, but explore how new solutions like the Northern Lights project can help us meet our own carbon negative goals by 2030.”

Equinor, Shell and Total made a conditional investment decision on the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage project in May 2020.

Pending approval by regulatory authorities, the project partners will form a joint venture.

It will be responsible for creating an open-source, ship-based carbon transport and storage network including developing business models to store captured CO2 from across Europe.

The final investment decision is subject to the Norwegian parliament’s approval, anticipated late 2020. The plan is to start operations in the first half of 2024.