Northern Lights will be the world’s first open-source CO2, transport and storage network. We are working with industrial emitters across Europe who can now mitigate emissions that they can’t yet avoid. This is key to bringing real progress towards tackling climate change.
We can help Europe meet its ambition of climate-neutrality by 2050. Our ship-based transport solution provides flexibility to reach large emission points in Europe, which will enable the scale-up of a CO2 transport and storage network open to CO2 capture sites across Europe.
In 2024 we will take delivery of the first CO2 shipment from the Norcem cement factory in Brevik. Plans are also in place for storage of CO2 from the Hafslund Oslo Celsio waste-to-energy plant in Oslo.
We are also working with technology providers to explore the realisation of full-chain CO2 removal projects based on direct air capture (DAC), where the Northern Lights infrastructure can be used for permanent storage.
Decarbonisation pathway for industrial emissions
CCS provides a decarbonisation pathway for industrial emissions that have no other low carbon options today, or none at the scale needed for the next few decades – without it, emissions in these sectors will continue to grow. CCS is not a silver bullet. It must be deployed alongside a wide range of options and solutions to boost efficiency, reduce resource use and cut emissions.
CO2 removal technologies
While today’s urgency is to reduce and avoid emissions, there is growing awareness of the need to build capacity now to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at scale later. Northern Lights is working with developers of direct air capture technology, to provide a safe and permanent storage option in its offshore saline aquifer in the North Sea – helping to get the carbon cycle back in balance.
Enabling a European transport and storage network
The European Green Deal aims to make the continent climate-neutral by 2050 and CCS is one of the key technologies to deliver deep decarbonisation of Europe’s industry. Northern Lights will help to translate this ambitious climate goal into action. Ship transport provides flexibility to reach large emission points across many countries in northern Europe, which would enable the scale-up of a CO2 transport and storage network open to CO2 capture sites across Europe.
Building on more than 23 years of operation with safe CO2 storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and internationally within the partnership, Northern Lights will contribute a key first step to realising a European network for CO2 transport and storage, working with CCS hubs in the UK and the Netherlands as they come into operation.
Opportunities for emitters across Europe
The Northern Lights project will be developed in two phases. Phase 1 includes capacity to transport, inject and store up to 1.5 million tons of CO2 annually. Our ambition is to expand the capacity by an additional 3.5 million tons to a total of 5 million. Phase 2 will be triggered based on market demand from emitters across Europe for CO2 storage.
A Project of Common Interest for the EU
Northern Lights has the status of a Project of Common Interest (PCI). The EU defines PCIs as key cross-border infrastructure programmes linking European energy systems and intended to achieve its energy policy and climate objectives.
Northern Lights was awarded PCI status in January 2020. Our project includes 16 partners across seven European countries, and aims to build an effective CO2 transport and storage network. PCI partners and countries are listed in the map below.