An open-access carbon dioxide (CO2) storage and liquefaction hub could be realised in the Ghent part of North Sea Port, Belgium after three industrial partners began a study to explore feasibility of the project.

As carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies begin to gain traction, scaling up of associated infrastructure has taken a step forward in Belgium as Fluxys, ArcelorMittal Belgium and North Sea Port begin a collaboration to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors of industry. 

Set for commissioning in 2027, the Ghent Carbon Hub will enable the transport and liquefaction of CO2 from emitters, provide buffer storage and loading of liquefied CO2 onto ships for onward permanent storage. 

In addition to contributing towards Fluxys’ ‘CO2 backbone’, which allows emitters from the North Sea Port and other clusters to transport CO2, the Hub will have the capacity to process six million tonnes of CO2 per annum (MTPA), equivalent to around 15% of Belgium’s industrial CO2 emissions. 

Ghent Carbon Hub

Ghent Carbon Hub

Source: Fluxys

Stating that such decarbonisation solutions are ‘essential’ for achieving climate change objectives, Pascal De Buck, CEO, Fluxys, added, “Ghent Carbon Hub is an integral part of the full-scale Fluxys CO2 approach, offering emitters in North Sea Port and the wider area the opportunity to convey their captured CO2 through our backbone.” 

The project will also aid the Net Zero targets set out by ArcelorMittal Belgium and North Sea Port. 

By using Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) manufacturing methods, alongside a sustainable blast furnace and other methods, the company aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 35% by 2030 compared to 2018, before becoming climate neutral by 2050. 

Similar targets were revealed by North Sea Port, which has the ambition to halve CO2 emissions by 2030 and to be a carbon neutral port by 2050. 

“Total CO2 emissions in the port are 21.5 million tonnes,” said Daan Schalck, CEO, North Sea Port. ”As a first step, the capture and storage of CO2 will have to be increased.” 

“To this end, North Sea Port is fully engaged to facilitate this CO2 infrastructure project to make it happen.”