Port of Antwerp CO2 emissions to be stored in Danish seabed: "a world's first"

An undersea CO2 storage site in Denmark was inaugurated by the country's crown prince Frederik on Wednesday. The carbon dioxide comes from abroad, specifically from chemicals company Ineos in the port of Antwerp, where it was captured and transported to Denmark - "a world's first", according to the project's initiators. One day earlier, on Tuesday, Belgian gas grid operator Fluxys signed a cooperation agreement to transport CO2 from the German industry to storage sites in the North Sea.

By removing CO2 from the air and storing it underground, the Danish-Belgian storage project aims to contribute to the fight against global warming. Denmark has CO2 storage space under the Nini West drilling platform in the North Sea, some 200 kilometres off its coast and at a depth of 1,800 metres. The plan is to store 8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas there annually by 2030, or about 40 per cent of Denmark's total emission reduction target.

On Wednesday, CO2 from chemical company Ineos' plant in the Flemish port of Antwerp was safely injected into the storage facility for the first time. This so-called 'Greensand project' was announced last year as a "pioneering project" to refine CO2 transport and storage technology. In mid-September, the relevant Flemish, Belgian and Danish ministers signed a declaration of intent. With its industrial clusters in Antwerp and Ghent, Flanders has great potential for capturing CO2 but has few possibilities of storing this gas. Denmark, on the other hand, has gas fields with great potential for storage.

CO2 capturing and storing is far from a miracle solution: the technology is still expensive, energy-intensive and not without risks.

CO2 capturing and storing technology should help remove the harmful greenhouse gas from the atmosphere, but it is far from a miracle solution. The technology is still expensive, energy-intensive and not without risks. Environmental organisations such as Greenpeace believe more efforts should be made to reduce CO2 emissions.

The inauguration of the Danish storage site coincides with the announcement that Belgian gas grid operator Fluxys has signed a cooperation agreement on Tuesday to transport CO2 from German industry to storage sites in the North Sea. In cooperation with oil and gas company Wintershall Dea, "Germany-based industrial emitters will be able to transport their CO2 emissions to the German-Belgian border," Fluxys explained in a press release. "Through the Belgian CO2 network, CO2 will reach the export terminal - under development - via pipelines in Zeebrugge. From there on, the CO2 will be exported to safe and permanent storage sites in the North Sea."

In the first phase, a feasibility study will be launched. Fluxys said nothing about the locations of storage sites, but Wintershall Dea is also involved in the Greensand project off the Danish coast inaugurated on Wednesday.



#FlandersNewsService | Chemical company Ineos' plant in the port of Antwerp © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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