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Porthos project must be first step towards Europe-wide CO2 storage infrastructure 

October 18, 2023 Work Area: Carbon Capture

BRUSSELS – The Dutch government has today announced the Final Investment Decision of the Porthos CO2 storage project, which represents a major step towards the comprehensive CO2 storage infrastructure needed for European decarbonisation. 

“This is the first storage project in the EU to take a final investment decision so it’s an exciting breakthrough, but we have to make sure this isn’t where the CO2 storage momentum ends.” said Codie Rossi, Policy Associate, Carbon Capture at Clean Air Task Force. “Policymakers and business leaders need to expedite the development of more storage sites, across Europe, to unlock further emissions reductions.“ 

For the Netherlands, national climate goals would be impossible to achieve without projects like Porthos. In 2030, more than 50% of all scope 1 emissions reductions from industry will come from carbon capture and storage projects, according to the 2022 Klimaatnota.  

The need to advance cost-effective climate solutions which can rapidly reduce emissions has never been clearer.  

As has been outlined by all leading pathways to reach climate neutrality, including the European Commission, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency, 300 to 550 million tonnes of annual CO2 capture and storage capacity will need to be available by 2050 if Europe is to reach its climate goals. It is vital that Europe starts building out storage capacity now, and learnings from the experiences of first-mover projects such as Porthos will be a key enabler to scaling up the industry. 

Large scale storage capacity is a key topic in Brussels at the moment, with the proposed scale up targets in the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) coming under scrutiny from industry and member states, as well as in relation to the Commission’s forthcoming EU Industrial Carbon Management Strategy which has garnered support from civil society, academia and industry.  

A CATF report from earlier this year highlighted the need for CO₂ storage developments outside the North Sea region and showed how these efforts are lagging behind, leaving industrial emitters, particularly those in inland regions, facing an existential threat. More broadly, developing CO₂ storage across all of Europe, rather than only in the few areas currently planned, could cut costs in Europe by up to 300% and ensure a just transition. Developing storage infrastructure across all of Europe is essential for a well-functioning single market. 

“Unlocking the CO₂ storage barrier is an urgent matter that European policymakers need to address,” said Eadbhard Pernot, Policy Manger, Carbon Capture at CATF. “The NZIA proposes various measures including making oil and gas producers contribute to our CO2 storage capacity, which will be critical to reaching our climate goals.” 

Background on Porthos project 

  • The Port of Rotterdam CO2 Transport Hub and Offshore Storage project, known as ‘Porthos’ is a major first mover carbon capture and storage project which will transport and store CO2 captured by industry in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 
  • By design, Porthos’ onshore pipeline can scale up to of 10 Mt CO2 per year, and therefore will be able to transport significantly more CO2 than its customers will need in first instance, thus enabling additional customers and carbon capture and storage projects (e.g. Aramis) to benefit from economy of scale. 
  • Once operational, Porthos could contribute some 17% of the CO2 reductions targeted for industry in 2030. 

See our factsheet here, which explores how the project will work and why projects such as Porthos are critical for both the Netherlands and the EU to achieve their climate goals. 

Press Contact  

Rowan Emslie, Communications Director, EU, [email protected], +32 476-97-36-42  

About Clean Air Task Force  

Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world.

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