Bio-CCS’ role on path to net-zero – dependent on legislative framework’s recognition of shipping and CO2 storage

Publish date: March 16, 2021

Tapping into ongoing discussions in Sweden on Bio-CCS’ vital role on the path to net-zero by 2050, Fabian Levihn from Stockholm EXERGI had a chat with us on the ongoing revision of the TEN-E Regulation. Main takeaways? Transport modalities other than pipeline are pivotal for project development in Sweden, as well as the availability of abroad CO2 storage.

Why is Stockholm EXERGI so interested in CO2 Capture and Storage?
Well first of all, at Stockholm EXERGI we focus on Bio-CCS. The simple reason for this is that we see a lot of corporations and countries pursuing ambitious net-zero targets. When seeking to realize these ambitions, there are some emissions that are hard to avoid.  There is a great interest in countering these with negative emissions, and this is where bio-ccs comes in. And if we talk about historical emissions then negative emissions are the only way to reduce those if you want to remove the carbon from the atmosphere. Then you need to create a flow from that atmosphere into the bedrock. Looking at the long-term strategy of the EU, we’re talking about a requirement of 200-600 Mt of negative emissions. And Sweden has a greater potential than what we require ourselves because we have this big country with a lot of forests.

What role can the revision of the TEN-E Regulation play?

The TEN-E regulation, and in fact all other EU regulations, has a great impact on our ability to do this project.  If we want to have a market for carbon capture and storage to facilitate negative emissions, the policy framework needs to allow for all parts of the process. From the use of biomass to air capture, shipping and storage. In Sweden we don’t have great conditions for CO2 storage, we do have, however, a very long coastline and many of the existing point sources of biogenic CO2 in Sweden have a port facility. If you want to collect the CO2 from these Swedish facilities and especially the biogenic facilities, then ships are the only viable option. You couldn’t put a pipeline along this long coast. It is economically more efficient to use ship transport than pipelines to reach abroad storage facilities. However, the TEN-E’s exclusion and CCS Directive’s specific mention of pipelines rules out shipping.

We need to have all of these steps connected for it to work. All European policies have to be aligned, this includes the TEN-E. PCI status is important. We are a supporter of the Northern Lights and the Longship project, a promoter for them having PCI status. If we want to have a market system for carbon dioxide capture and storage the EU policy framework must allow and enable for all parts of the value chain, this also includes CO2 storage, transport such as shipping and indeed also the use of biomass. Everything must be connected.

How can CO2 storage recognition in the TEN-E contribute to cross-border benefits in the EU?

As mentioned Sweden does not have good conditions for storing CO2, so we are 100% depending on sending it abroad – by ship. We also depend on the development of CO2 storage facilities abroad. Once availability is ensured, we can capture biogenic CO2 and store it – reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. For this to become a reality we will need such cross-border cooperation and benefits offered through the TEN-E and PCI status.

Sweden is extremely dependent on European policy and European legislation to support the development of CO2 infrastructure, including storage. The EU must recognize that this is an important part of actually meeting its set long-term strategy, and recognize that there is a great potential that we can tap into to create negative emissions. And we can do it without adding more resources. All of these steps in the value-chain are sustainable and an important part of meeting the climate change mitigation strategy of the European Union – and they should be equally recognized in a harmonized legislative framework, including the TEN-E Regulation.

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