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Global Economy

CO2 under the sea instead of in the air

Wintershall Dea, a subsidiary of the German chemical group BASF, and the Norwegian energy group Equinor are planning a pipeline that will transport CO2 to Norway and then store it under the seabed.

The 900-kilometer pipeline is intended to transport CO2 from Germany to the Norwegian North Sea for "undersea" storage. The aim of the partnership is to "jointly find a technical and commercial solution" for the transport and storage of CO2, the companies announced today. The pipeline is intended to connect northern Germany to storage sites in Norway.

Storage instead of release into the atmosphere

In the fight against global warming, carbon capture and storage is seen as a suitable technology to advance the decarbonization of industry. CO2 from power plants and industrial plants can first be captured and then stored underground for the long term. Old gas and oil reservoirs or layers of rock are suitable for this. Norway has the greatest potential for storing the climate-damaging gas in Europe.

The pipeline, which should be operational "before 2032", has an expected transport capacity of 20 to 40 million tons of CO2 per year. According to the partners, this corresponds to around 20 percent of all German industrial emissions per year.

First customer for "Northern Lights"

Equinor operates the "Northern Lights" project together with the oil companies Shell and Total, which promotes CO2 storage in Norway. Yesterday, the joint venture signed a first commercial agreement on the transport and storage of CO2 in Norway: The Dutch fertilizer manufacturer Yara Sluiskil wants to capture carbon dioxide that is produced in its production, transport it to Norway and have it permanently stored under the seabed off the coast.

From the beginning of 2025, 800,000 tons of CO2 are to be captured, compressed and liquefied in the Netherlands and then transported by ship to the storage terminal at 2600 meters below the seabed on the Norwegian continental shelf. With the quantities from Yara, the Northern Light project has reached a first phase. The partners in the joint venture now want to increase the total capacity to five to six million tons of CO2 per year.

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