New company Carbon Collectors aims to store six million tonnes of CO2 per year in depleted North Sea oil & gas fields with ships by 2030.

Launched today by Fizzy Transition Ventures, Carbon Collectors has the ambition to collect six million tonnes of CO2 per year before 2030, from companies that cannot easily get rid of their CO2 in an acceptable way.

The CO2 will then be transported by ship to underground storage locations in the NorthSea. According to plan, the first ship could sail in 2023.

Shipyard Royal Niestern Sander and the shipping company Royal Wagenborg have been closely involved in the development of this concept by providing Carbon Collectors with substantive input when it comes to the design and possible exploitation of the vessel combinations.

Furthermore, Imodco (offshore technology), Eindhoven-based Petrogas (gas systems) and the French Bureau Veritas (certification) each play a role in the Carbon Collectors consortium.

The director of Carbon Collectors, Ludo van Hijfte sees underground CO2 storage as a temporary solution.

“Speed is crucial to contain climate change. However, not all industries have the technology to be able to sustainably reduce their CO2 emissions fast enough. And currently there is far too little demand for CO2 as a raw material,” he said.

“Hopefully, this will change in the longer term. Then we can ship CO2 to companies that use it as raw material in products, or we can help companies elsewhere in the world, where CO2-emissions from industrial processes remain high.”

“Ship transport offers flexibility compared to transport by pipelines. That also offers opportunities for industrial clusters and companies that are not located near a harbour with a planned CO2-pipeline.”

In the Dutch North Sea, the total storage capacity is estimated at 1,600 million tonnes of CO2. In other countries, including Norway, Canada and the US, underground CO2 storage has been taking place safely for some time.

The IPCC and the IEA consider the capture and underground storage of CO2 to be a necessary measure to stay below a 1.5 degree temperature rise, in addition to measures to save energy, transition to renewable energy sources, adapt behaviour patterns and industrial processes and strengthen the storage of CO2 in nature.