Denmark manifests in CO2 storage, Belgium becomes first customer

Denmark will be the first country in the world to store CO2 emissions from across the border in empty gas fields under the North Sea. Belgium is the first customer.

CO2 capture and storage (CCS) has been around for a while (some projects have even been around for decades), but the technology has never been used to store CO2 emissions from other countries. Now I am. A Belgian industrial player is going to capture part of his emissions. This is then transported via ships to project Greensand of, among others, oil company Wintershall Dea (in the Danish part of the North Sea). There, the gas is injected into sandstone reservoirs, 1,800 meters below the seabed.

The project was officially opened this week by Frederik Christian, Crown Prince of Denmark. Mario Mehren, CEO of Wintershall Dea, said: “project Greensand is an important step forward in the development of European CCS infrastructure. It proves that CO2 can be transported safely and reliably across national borders.”

Greensand is still in the demonstration phase, but around 2025 the project can already store 1.5 million tons of CO2 per year. By 2030, it should be possible to store 8 million tons of CO2 per year. To give you an idea: that’s about 13 percent of the annual CO2 emissions of the whole of Denmark. The expansion of the Greensand project is possible by commissioning several empty gas fields for CO2 storage.

Wintershall Dea has multiple CO2 storage projects in the pipeline and that’s not for nothing. The United Nations has designated CO2 storage as an essential means of achieving the Paris climate goals. The IPCC states that at least 300 gigatons of CO2 must be stored by 2050 to achieve the climate goals.

But opponents are also there. For example, they argue that CO2 storage is primarily an excuse to continue emitting greenhouse gas. The Danish newspaper Politiken also questioned the promises of CCS this week. According to the newspaper, the Greensand project will cost 37 billion Danish kroner (almost five billion euros), while the promised results of the project are not yet certain at all. There is something to be said for this: in recent years, several CCS projects were shut down and the results of other projects were very disappointing.

The author: Michel THEYS

Michel Theys, a Belgian native, began his career as a civil servant, serving the public for several decades. After retirement, he shifted gears to follow his passion for journalism. With a background in public administration, Theys brought a unique perspective to his reporting. His insightful articles, covering a wide array of topics, swiftly gained recognition. Today, Michel Theys is a respected journalist known for his balanced and thoughtful reporting in the Belgian media landscape.

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