ESA approves Norwegian Full-Scale Carbon Capture and Storage: up to €2.1bn in aid to meet climate goals

Originally published by EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA)

The CCS Full-Scale project is a central part of Norway’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and meet the European goal of climate-neutrality by 2050. It is the largest single state aid award ever approved by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA).

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has been recognized by the European Union as key to reducing the harmful environmental effects of carbon-intensive sectors (such as construction), where emissions are difficult to avoid.

By supporting the project, the Norwegian government aims to facilitate further scaling up of CCS globally, by sharing knowledge and experience. The project will establish infrastructure for capture, transport and storage of CO2 emissions that can pave the way for future investments, innovation and technology in CCS as a climate-change mitigation tool.

This CCS project is a groundbreaking step towards tackling climate change – an issue that affects all of us. Protecting the environment is at the heart of the European agenda, and ESA is pleased to work with Norway and the European Commission to find ways to support this important goal”, said Bente Angell-Hansen, President of ESA.

The approved project would allow for the establishment of carbon capture facilities at Norcem, a cement factory in Brevik, and Fortum Oslo Varme, a Waste-to-Energy plant. The captured CO2 is then to be transported and stored deep below the seabed in the North Sea. This part of the process is to be carried out by a joint venture between Shell, Total and Equinor, known as Northern Lights.

The Full-Scale CCS Project promises to become the first of its kind to go live in Europe. It has a budget of up to EUR 2.57 billion (NOK 27.6 billion), which will cover construction and 10 years of operation. The Norwegian government would cover around 80% of the project’s estimated budget.

The measure was formally notified on 2 July 2020. Today, ESA concludes that the measure is in line with EEA state aid rules. set out in Article 61(3)(c) of the EEA Agreement.

ESA’s decision will be published once confidentiality has been cleared.

Featured Image Volvo Electric Bus Norway, courtesy of Volvo

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