Aker BP Announces Kelp Carbon Removal Project In Norway

Aker BP Announces Kelp Carbon Removal Project In Norway - Carbon Herald

Norwegian oil and gas exploration company Aker BP (OTCMKTS: AKRBF) is set to contribute to a new kelp cultivation project aimed at removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis.

The kelp farm, to be situated off the coast of Frøya in the county of Trøndelag, is anticipated to yield its first harvest by the summer of 2024.

It will be built and operated by SINTEF Ocean, which has recently obtained official licensing for its commissioning, Aker BP said in a statement last week.

Over a growth period of six to 10 months, the kelp plants will absorb CO2 through photosynthesis, subsequently being processed into biochar via chemical procedures upon harvest.

Aker BP is also exploring the feasibility of deploying the kelp on the seabed in deep waters for permanent CO2 storage, offering a swift climate-positive solution.

Relevant: How Does Seaweed Remove CO2 From The Air While Solving Single-Use Plastic Pollution?

This project is an integral part of the Norwegian Kelp Center, playing a crucial role in various research initiatives, including “Seaweed Carbon Solutions”—a collaborative effort of SINTEF and Aker BP together with DNV, Equinor, and, more recently, Wintershall Dea and Ocean Rainforest, with support from the Research Council of Norway.

Given Norway’s extensive coastline, industrial kelp cultivation is deemed suitable, with calculations suggesting that a kelp plant covering an area of 1 sq km (247 acres) could capture 3,000 tons of CO2 annually.

Beyond carbon capture, kelp and other macroalgae have versatile applications, including food, animal feed, medicine, packaging, and fertilizers.

The initial kelp plant off Frøya will cover 200 acres, with the first seedlings recently deployed. A target harvest of at least 200 tons of kelp is set for the upcoming summer.

Jorunn Skjermo, a senior researcher at SINTEF Ocean, expressed optimism about the initiative, stating, “We see great potential for this solution. 200 tons of fresh kelp will capture around 25 tons of CO2 and this is a solution that can easily be scaled up.”

Read more: New Study Concludes Large-Scale Seaweed Cultivation Might Be Difficult

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