According to the UN Panel on Climate Change, the capture, transport and storage of CO₂ emissions from the combustion of fossil energy and industrial production is crucial in order to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. There are several CO₂ management projects in operation worldwide. However, CCS is still expensive, and there is a need for additional technology development. The work on CO₂ management is therefore largely related to the development of technology and the facilitation of cost reductions. For some industries, especially cement production and waste incineration, the capture and storage of CO₂ is the only way to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) has decided to support the realization of Longship, Norway’s full-scale project for CO₂ management, and the project is thus underway. Norway has suitable conditions for facilitating the capture, transport and storage of CO₂. If we succeed in capturing and storing CO₂, it will be significantly cheaper to achieve the climate goals. Longship contributes in making this more feasible and less costly.

The Government will first realize carbon capture at Norcem’s cement factory in Brevik and also intends to realize carbon capture at Fortum Oslo Varme’s waste incineration facility in Oslo, provided that they secure sufficient self funding and funding from the EU or other sources. Northern Lights, a collaboration between Equinor, Shell and Total, will realize the transport and storage of CO₂ in Longship.

Full-scale demonstration plant

On the basis of the CCS strategy set out in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy’s Proposition No. 1 to the Parliament (2014–2015), Gassnova carried out a pre-feasibility study in 2015 that identified several emission sources and storage locations that were technically suitable for carbon capture and storage, as well as industry actors that were interested in participating in future studies. The pre-feasibility study focused on existing land-based emission sources that emitted more than 400,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year. A wide-ranging assessment of CO₂ storage possibilities on the Norwegian continental shelf and coordination of storage with other countries were also conducted. In addition, transport by pipeline and ship was assessed.

In 2016, planning continued with a feasibility study of current demonstration projects in Norway. The purpose of the feasibility study was to arrive at least one technically feasible full-scale CO₂ management chain with associated cost estimates. Three industry players conducted feasibility studies for capturing CO₂ at their industrial facilities. Norcem assessed the possibility of CO₂ capture at its cement factory in Brevik, Yara assessed capture of CO₂ from three different sources at the ammonia plant at Herøya in Porsgrunn, and Fortum Oslo Varme (FOV) assessed CO₂ capture from its waste incineration facility at Klemetsrud in Oslo. Gassco conducted a ship transport study, whereas Equinor conducted a feasibility study for CO₂ storage at three different locations on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The feasibility studies were completed in the summer of 2016. The results showed that it is technically feasible to realize a flexible CO₂ management chain in Norway, in which CO₂ emissions are first transported by ship from capture facilities to a hub connected by pipeline and then to a safe geological storage deep below the seabed. A storage with a large capacity and a flexible transport solution can help facilitate CO₂ capture from other emission sources. These will benefit from the investment in a CO₂ infrastructure.

Based on the results from the feasibility studies, the government decided to continue the planning of a full-scale CCS demonstration project in Norway. Concept studies on capture from Norcem, Yara and FOV were delivered in the autumn of 2017 together with a concept study for transport. The concept study for CO₂ storage was completed in the autumn of 2018 and was carried out by the partners Equinor, Shell and Total.

Front-end engineering design (FEED) studies of CO₂ capture and most of the CO₂ transport and storage work was completed in the autumn of 2019. The last part of the FEED study for the storage location was completed in the spring of 2020.

Through the consideration of the State Budget for 2021 and the Longship report Meld. St. 33 (2019–2020), the Parliament agreed to a funding model and the conditions for further project development. Longship consists of three parts that together constitute the state-funded project Longship; capture, transport and storage of CO₂.

Norcem will capture CO₂ from its cement factory in Brevik. From Brevik, the CO₂ will be transported by ship to a new reception terminal in Øygarden in Hordaland. Then, the CO₂ will be sent through pipelines and permanently stored in a geological formation about 2,600 meters below the seabed.

The Government is also planning to make Fortum Oslo Varme a part of Longship, provided it secures sufficient self-financing and financing from the EU or other sources. FOV will capture CO₂ from flue gas at the waste facility in Oslo. About 400,000 tonnes of CO₂ will be captured each year, transported to the port of Oslo and then by ship to the storage site. The government is prepared to provide NOK 3 billion for Fortum Oslo Varme, including two billion for investments and one billion for operations.

The transport and storage part of the project has been named Northern Lights and is a collaboration between Equinor, Shell and Total. The plan is to develop Northern Lights in two phases. The first phase is part of the Longship project and has an estimated capacity of 1.5 million tonnes of CO₂ per year over an operating period of 25 years. A possible second phase is planned with an estimated capacity of 5 million tonnes of CO₂ per year.

Longship

Norway has supported CCS technology development, test and pilot projects and highlighted CO₂ capture and storage as an important tool internationally for several decades and through various governments. Norway has good prerequisites for realizing the capture, transport and storage of CO₂. On 21 September 2020, the government presented the Parliamentary report Longship – capture and storage of CO, detailing the Norwegian demonstration project for CO₂ management. The Parliament has decided to support the implementation of Longship, and the full-scale project is thus underway.

Longships include capture, transport and storage of CO₂

The Norwegian state supports the implementation of Norcem as the first CO₂ capture project. Fortum Oslo Varme’s CO₂ capture project will be supported with state aid if it obtains sufficient self-financing and financing from the EU or other sources. Northern Lights, a collaboration between Equinor, Shell and Total, will, with state aid, implement CO transport and storage for Longship.

CO₂ will be captured at Norcem and FOV, made liquid and collected by ships. It will then be transported to an intermediate storage facility in Øygarden before it will be pumped through pipes to the Norwegian continental shelf where it will be stored safely 2600 meters below the seabed. Carrying CO₂ by ship is a flexible solution that can facilitate the extraction of CO₂ from several, additional sources if necessary.

Longship is important for the success of CCS in Europe and for the implementation of Europe’s Green Deal. If we succeed in capturing and storing CO₂, it will be much cheaper to achieve the climate goals. Longship helps make this more feasible and less costly.

The total costs for the project are estimated at NOK 25.1 billion. This includes both the initial investment and a ten-year operating period. The state’s total contribution is NOK 16.8 billion. This means that the state expects to cover approximately two thirds of the costs.

Furthermore, Longship can facilitate business development by preserving, restructuring and creating new industry and business activities in Norway.

Demonstrates CO₂ capture from industry on a large scale

Longship will demonstrate that CO₂ management is safe and feasible, as well as facilitate learning and cost reductions for succeeding projects. Infrastructure will be established with additional capacity that other projects can utilize. This will lower the threshold for establishing new, successive CO₂ capture projects. Longship provides experience in planning and  implementing a project on an entire CCS value chain consisting of capture, transport and storage. All of the actors involved in Longship have unique experience in their field in Europe today.

For some industries, especially cement production and waste incineration, the capture and storage of CO₂ is the only way to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If the world – and Europe – are to achieve their climate goals, various climate measures are needed, including large-scale CCS. The UN Climate Panels fifth report highlights that the global costs of keeping the global increase in average temperature below 2 degrees celsius can be more than twice as high without the capture and storage of CO₂.

The Longship name

The Norwegian Government has decided to call the Norwegian project on carbon capture, transport and storage Longship. 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. The longships enabled the Vikings to become long-distance traders who exchanged valuable goods from the North for 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 becoming a cost-efficient solution for carbon capture and storage, and a technology that many can utilise. Longship facilitates the further development of CCS in both Norway and Europe.

International support and commitment

For CO₂ management to be an effective climate measure, it requires international cooperation in order to develop and commercialize new technology. Norway therefore supports CO₂ management projects abroad in collaboration with other countries and through existing programs and institutions. In particular, Norway supports CO₂ management projects in China and South Africa, among other places.

Longship – Carbon capture and storage — Meld. St. 33 (2019–2020) Report to the Storting (white paper)

The Longship project is under construction

The construction of Norway's largest industrial climate project is now underway.