Questions and answers about the Longship project

Here you find the most usual questions we receive about the fullscale CO₂ carbon capture, transport and storage project Longship.

The Solberg government launched the Longship project on 21 September 2020. The Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) approved the Solberg government's full scale CCS project in Meld. St. 33 (2019–2020) 'Longship - Carbon capture and storage' in the budget for the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for 202.

Longship is a full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project that will demonstrate the capture of CO₂ from industrial sources, as well as transport and safe storage of CO₂. CO₂ will be captured at Norcem's cement factory and Oslo Fortum Varme's waste incineration plant, liquefied and collected by ships. It will then be transported to an intermediate storage facility in Øygarden northwest of Bergen, before it is pumped through pipes to the Norwegian continetal shelf, where it will be stored safely 2600 meters below the seabed. Initially, there is a storage capacity of 1.5 million tonnes of CO₂ per year at the storage site, while the pipe from the onshore facility to the reservoir is dimensioned for 5 million tonnes. Northern Lights, which is responsible for the transport and storage part of Longship, plans to increase storage capacity to 5 million tonnes per year through an additional development phase (Phase 2) and an increasing customer base.

Longship will demonstrate the capture, transport and storage of CO₂. Norcem will capture CO₂ at its cement plant in Breivik in Porsgrunn and Fortum Oslo Varme will capture CO₂ at its waste incineration plant at Klemetsrud in Oslo. The government provides financial support to Norcem as the first carbon capture project. Fortum Oslo Varme's (FOV) carbon capture project will also attain financial support, provided that FOV obtains sufficient own funding and funding from the EU or other sources. Northern Lights JV DA, a collaboration between the commercial partners Equinor, Shell and Total, will, with financial support from the government, facilitate the CO₂ transport and storage in the Longship project. The industrial actors will own, build and operate their facilities. The Norwegian state contributes with financing, facilitation and risk mitigation.

The capture project at Norcem's plant in Brevik has significantly lower estimated costs than the project at Fortum Oslo Varme's incineration plant in Oslo. Among other things, the capture plant in Brevik will be able to access cheap residual heat from the cement factory. Norcem also has a higher concentration of CO2 in the exhaust gas, and the cement plant is closer to the dock.

Fortum Oslo Varme's project also has its advantages, i.e. it will demonstrate CO2 capture in the waste incineration sector. The government therefore supports the project with up to NOK 3 billion, provided FOV secures sufficient own funding and funding from the EU or other sources. Longship can facilitate significant emission reductions in other countries as well. It is therefore reasonable that other countries and the EU contribute to financing the development of CCS. Additionally, when Norway, through its cooperation with the EU, has the opportunity to apply for support for climate projects through the EU's Innovation Fund, it is important that we make use of this opportunity.

The International Energy Agency and the UN Climate Panel highlight that capturing and storing CO2 will be important in tackling the climate challenges that the world is facing. Capture and storage of CO2 has been a central part of the Norwegian government's climate and energy policy since 2014, when the Solberg government formulated a strategy for CCS that was presented in the National Budget for 2015.

The strategy was further developed in an idea study by Gassnova in 2015, which provided the basis for continuing the planning with a feasibility study of current demonstration projects in Norway in 2016. The projects were then further matured in concept studies. Through the front-end engineer design (FEED) phase, the industry actors have matured their respective projects from the concept phase.

 

Atkins and Oslo Economics considered in an external quality assurer's report the project to be mature enough for an investment decision. The results from the FEED study also showed that all parts of the project were feasible.

State aid agreements were negotiated in collaboration with the industry partners, and were designed to provide successful project implementation. The agreements stimulate cost discipline and efficient utilization and further development of the infrastructure. Through the consideration of the National Budget for 2021 and the government white paper Longship Carbon capture and storage report to the Storting (Meld. St. 33 (2019–2020), the Parliament gave its support for the support model and the preconditions for further work.

In order for Norway to achieve the goals we have committed to in the Paris Agreement, we must, among other things, capture and store CO2 on a large scale. In several industrial processes, such as cement production, carbon capture and storage is necessary to significantly reduce emissions. Longship therefore contributes to creating climate solutions for the future. The Longship project will help strengthen Norwegian industry by enabling businesses to meet the climate requirements of the future. Thus, the project is an important contribution to green growth and will secure and create new jobs in the industry.  In addition, Longship facilitates the production of blue hydrogen from natural gas with carbon capture and storage. Hydrogen is highlighted in the European Green Deal and production of blue hydrogen has great potential for value creation in Norway and for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in Europe.

The total cost estimate for Longship is NOK 25.1 billion and the government's share of the costs is estimated at NOK 16.8 billion. Norwegian authorities and Norwegian industry have never before invested a larger sum in a single climate project.

Norway and the EU have ambitious climate goals. By 2050, there should be almost no greenhouse gas emissions and those that remain should be matched by sequestration in places like forests. For some industries, especially cement production and waste incineration, capture and storage of CO2 is the only way to remove all greenhouse gas emissions. The fifth major report of the UN Climate Panel points out that the global costs of keeping the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees can be more than twice as high without CCS. In other reports, the UN Climate Panel and the IEA have shown that it is very difficult to achieve the global temperature targets in the Paris Agreement without CO2 management. The alternative involves a major restructuring of industry, energy system and consumption patterns. Thus, CCS can play an important role in Norway's, Europe's and the world's efforts at cutting emissions in industries that have no other alternatives.

Longship has already had a positive effect on the development of CCS, and European industry is active in the development of the technology. Shortly after the launch of Longship, Equinor signed a letter of intent with Microsoft regarding, among other things, the storage of CO₂ in the Norwegian storage. Northern Lights JV DA, which is the transport and storage operator in Longship, a collaboration between Equinor, Shell and Total, has as of June 2021 signed letters of intent with 11 companies. In addition, Northern Lights is in dialogue with more than 60 European companies that are looking at the possibilities of using the CO₂ storage in Norway. These companies represent the potential for capturing 50 million tonnes of CO₂ per year. HeidelbergCement, which owns Norcem, has decided to start planning a full-scale capture project at its factory on Gotland in Sweden, where the capture potential is 1.8 million tonnes of CO₂ per year. This is more than four times Norcem's planned capture rate. HeidelbergCement has said that they want to build on and benefit from the experiences from Norcem and the Longship project when developing their CO2 capture project on Gotland.

 

For Longship to be a climate success for the future, other countries must make use of the technology and learn from the project. Norway is in dialogue with several countries about the learning opportunities related to capture technology and is holding discussions about bilateral conditions for CO2 storage in Norway. Several countries have shown great interest in learning more about the Longship project and Norway's work with full-scale CCS.

The industry actors are also in dialogue with several European countries about the development of CCS. Northern Lights has signed letter of intent with 11 companies for the use of the Norwegian CO2 storage. See also question 11 regarding safe storage.

The development and operation of the CO2 management projects at Sleipner and Snøhvit have for several decades demonstrated safe storage of CO2 in geological formations under the seabed on the Norwegian continental shelf. Safe storage is supported by monitoring programmes and reservoir simulations that new projects can benefit from.

The Storage Directive (European Parliament and Council Directive 2009/31 / EC on the geological storage of CO2) is the legal framework for environmentally safe storage of CO2 within the EEA. The directive aims to ensure that there is no significant risk of CO2 leakage or damage to health or the environment, as well as to prevent negative effects on the safety of the transport network or CO2 storage.

Enhanced oil recovery (EOR), or advanced recovery methods, is not a part of the Longship project. Longship encompasses the safe and permanent storage of CO2 under the seabed on the Norwegian shelf and not injection of CO2 for increased oil recovery. For information on increased recovery and EOR on the Norwegian shelf, please click here.