Getting to net zero faster with ports as decarbonisation hubs 

With Ports2Decarb project Bellona Europa will intensify work with ports to decarbonise heavy industries.   

Bellona Europa will identify and support the role to be played by ports for industrial decarbonization solutions, primarily CO2 capture, transport and storage (CCS). The geographical scope of this project is to be focused on the North Sea and Baltic ports.  The project will be focused on the selected ports to be developed as industrial hubs for CCS solution deployments for so-called ‘harder-to-abate’ sectors like chemicals, steel and cement which face technical and economic challenges to deeply cut their emissions.  

The CCS value chain comprises technically intensive stages, from on-site CO2 capture to transportation and storage in a safe geological formation, either onshore or offshore. Geological reservoirs for secure CO2 storage are largely located offshore, deep underground at depleted oil and gas reservoirs and saline aquifers. Therefore, ports in the Baltic region, as well as around the North Sea, have a key role to play as decarbonisation hubs and a key element in maritime CO2 transport infrastructure.  

Bellona believes that developing a cross-border and openly accessible CO2 transport and storage network is an effective way to reduce the barrier to entry for industrial facilities to capture and store their CO2 emissions before they reach the atmosphere. Access through ports to offshore CO2 storage sites is key to kick-start project deployment and an at-scale market. Ships are set to play an important role, by reducing the need for upfront costs associated with pipeline infrastructure and overcoming geographical challenges, ensuring equitable access to storage sites.   

  • In project first year relevant stakeholders will be identified to engage and build a critical mass of ports taking up their role as key decarbonisation hubs. Bellona will establish the narrative and political-economic case for enabling the role of ports as hubs for decarbonisation.  
  • In second year joint actions with ports and relevant authorities at regional and national level will follow calling for EU-level policy and funding support. Bellona will issue policy recommendations for changes in EU legislation and funding schemes to recognise the role of ports and facilitate their transition.  
  • In third year Bellona will facilitate the access to funding mechanisms established by the EU (e.g., Innovation Fund, Connecting Europe Facility/Projects of Common Interest) and national governments.  

When implementing the Ports2Decarb project, Bellona Europa will build on its previous experience, such as active contributions to developing the Northern Lights, Athos, and Porthos projects, as well as the ECO2CEE project.  

You can follow the project progress on LinkedIn.

The people involved

Michał Wendołowski

Senior Climate Technology & Policy Manager (CEE)

Janis Volberts

Climate Technology and Policy Manager for Baltic Region

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