The Norwegian Government has decided to call the Norwegian project on carbon capture, transport and storage Longship, in Norwegian ‘Langskip’. The characteristic shape, and flexible, supple construction of the Vikings’ longships made them one of the greatest innovations and most ground-breaking ship-building technologies of their day. Longships were sleek, seaworthy and fast vessels, making them highly suitable for war and plundering voyages. However, trade was more important than plundering. The longships enabled the Vikings to become long-distance traders who exchanged valuable goods from the North with goods from faraway lands, such as silk and spices. Despite our ancestors often spreading fear along their path, longships have become a familiar symbol worldwide of the Viking Age and are associated with Norway.
Like those who built the longships, we also aim to take our technology out into the world, but only by peaceful means. The Government places major emphasis on Longship being a cost-effective solution for carbon capture and storage, and a technology that many can utilise.
In the same way as it was hard work to build a longship using the clinker method, a major effort from companies and a significant amount of public financing are required to realise a cost-effective solution for carbon capture and storage. Longship is the result of many years of hard work across several Norwegian governments. Authorities and industry representatives have worked together towards a shared goal, and the decision basis the Government is now presenting to the Storting is extensive, robust and quality-assured. The Vikings’ longships could make use of the wind through their sails, but it was often necessary to use raw manpower to row the ships. In both instances, the crew had to work together. In much the same way, we must also continue to work together to implement the project in the best way possible.
Those boarding a longship and setting out to sea in the Middle Ages quite often sailed into the unknown. Now that our own Longship is ready for construction, we are also entering uncharted waters. We do not know for sure what price will be levied upon CO2 emissions over the next decades. Uncertainty in terms of how the market for CO2 storage will develop in Europe will remain. However, we can be relatively certain that Longship will be an important contribution to creating value chains for carbon capture and storage in Europe. We can also have great faith that the project will contribute to technological development and learning at such a scale that the costs of the next carbon capture facility to be built will be lower than the first.
Longship will bring Norway to the forefront of the development of a technology that could prove decisive in achieving our climate targets.