Rising Costs Challenge Dutch CO2 Capture Project Porthos

Rising Costs Challenge Dutch CO2 Capture Project Porthos - Carbon Herald

A sharp increase in Project Porthos costs has raised concerns for the carbon capture initiative. Last week, NRC reported that the initial cost of the first major Dutch project to store captured CO2 under the North Sea is now expected to be at least €1.3 billion, nearly three times the original estimate of €500 million when the project began five years ago.

Porthos, an acronym for Port of Rotterdam CO2 Transport Hub and Offshore Storage, is a collaboration between three prominent players in the energy industry: EBN, Gasunie, and the Port of Rotterdam Authority. 

The project centers around transporting captured CO2 through a pipeline from the Rotterdam port area to the vacant gas chambers located approximately 25 kilometers offshore. The ambitious initiative intends to store an estimated 2.5 million metric tons annually over the next 15 years, amounting to a total storage of about 37 million metric tons.

By late 2023, the collaborating firms gave the green light for the final investment decision to proceed with the groundbreaking CO2 storage project.

Relevant: Porthos CO2 Storage Project Launched In The Netherlands

In a move to come forward and address the issue with the soaring costs, the three companies claimed that the unexpected increase in expenses is a result of inflation, leading to higher expenditures associated with preparing the storage location.

Besides costs, project Porthos has also experienced setbacks due to a legal challenge from the environmental campaign group, Mobilisation for the Environment. The group raised concerns about excessive nitrogen emissions during the construction process, further complicating the already daunting task of reducing CO2 emissions in the region. 

In August of last year, the top Dutch administrative court approved the project, stating that while it will result in increased nitrogen-compound pollution, the effects will be temporary and minimal in terms of environmental impact.

The legal battle has added more pressure on the project as it navigates through regulatory hurdles and strives to maintain public support for its carbon capture efforts. Despite these challenges, construction is set to commence this year, with storage scheduled to begin in 2026.

Read more: Positive Outcome For Porthos Project In Dutch Council Of State’s Final Ruling

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