As part of the larger Norwegian full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, the Northern Lights JV is currently developing the first of its kind open-source CO2 transport and storage infrastructure starting with two carrier ships.
Owned by three of the world’s major energy companies, Equinor, Total Energies and Shell, the joint venture project has entered the first phase of development, in which it is building two CO2 carrier ships that are expected to become operational around mid-2024. Both vessels are identical, each having a capacity of 7,500 m3 and lengths of 130m.
The purpose of the two carriers will be to transport liquid carbon dioxide in pressurized cargo tanks, whereas the ships themselves will run on special LNG fuel so as to limit emissions. Other novel technologies will also be installed to decrease the carbon intensity by a total of roughly 34% compared to traditional systems.
For instance, a wind assisted propulsion system is on the list of technologies to be included on board the CO2 carriers. And if successful, these first-of-a-kind vessels are expected to potentially set the bar for CO2 shipping in the future.
Northern Lights has awarded the contract for building these two new vessels to Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. (DSIC), China’s largest shipbuilding company. And as stated by the company’s Managing Director Børre Jacobsen, in awarding these contracts, Northern Lights has achieved an important milestone.
The use of carrier ships will greatly help the development of an efficient European infrastructure network for the transport of carbon emissions that have been captured by the company’s industrial customers.
And at the same time, it will keep costs low, which will allow the decarbonization process to scale up worldwide, while also utilizing innovative technology to keep the ships’ own emissions to a minimum.