Northern Lights – the first cross-border, open-source CO2 transport and storage infrastructure network in the world, achieved a major milestone. The joint venture signed its first commercial agreement with chemicals company Yara for the capture and transport of 800,000 tonnes of CO2 per year from Yara Sluiskil – an ammonia and fertilizer plant in the Netherlands.
The emissions will be captured, compressed, and liquefied in the Netherlands from early 2025, and then transported for permanent storage under the seabed off the coast of western Norway.
The deal is not just the first commercial agreement Northern Lights has signed but also the first commercial agreement on cross-border CO2 transport and storage, signed anywhere in the world.
“Yara is our first commercial customer, filling our available capacity in Northern Lights. With this we are establishing a market for transport and storage of CO2. From early 2025 we will be shipping the first tonnes of CO2 from the Netherlands to Norway. This will demonstrate that CCS is a climate tool for Europe”, said Børre Jacobsen, Managing Director of Northern Lights.
Northern Lights is a joint venture founded by oil companies Equinor, TotalEnergies, and Shell. They have been working as equal partners on the project since 2017, with Equinor as a project lead.
Northern Lights is also the transport and storage part of the Longship project – a Norway government initiative that wants to create the world’s first open access full value chain carbon capture and storage (CCS) model.
As Northern Lights is partly funded by the government, the country stipulated that it will develop a commercial business model and offer its service to the rest of Europe to prove CCS validity and viability on a large-scale.
“We are proving that this actually works… The fact that it can is a major breakthrough because this is now a pathfinder project for similar projects in Europe,” said Ben van Beurden, Shell CEO.
Following the Yara deal, Northern Light will now work to expand and sequester between 5 and 6 million tonnes of CO2 per year. So far, the initiative managed to achieve preliminary deals to store CO2 from a cement plant in Brevik and the waste plant Fortum Oslo Varme in Oslo. If confirmed, their combined storage capacity will reach 1.5 million tonnes per year which completes phase 1 of the project.