CCS and the EU recovery plan

The Northern Lights Project of Common Interest (PCI) has sent a memorandum on the positive contribution of CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) as part of a recovery plan for the EU. Returkraft and the Eyde Cluster are contributing in this network.

Equinor, Shell and Total announced on 15 May 2020 that they have decided to invest in the Northern Lights transport and storage solution. The investment decision is subject to final investment decision by Norwegian authorities and approval from EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA).

Inviting other companies

The Eyde Cluster is a part of the network Northern Lights PCI. The cluster of companies form a common European CO2 transport and storage initiative, and that qualifies other members of the Eyde Cluster to contribute to CEF-projects (Connecting European Facilities).

Returkraft was recently supported by Climit-demo program of Gassnova (3,75 Mill. NOK) for a CCS infrastructure project in Kristiansand, and the company is also participating in the Northern Lights CEF project of Common Interest (PCI) to find a safe solution for CO2 transport.

- The port of Kristiansand is cooperating with us, and we hope other members of the Eyde Cluster will also take part in the project, says CEO Odd Terje Døvik at Returkraft.


Døvik points out the benefits of participating in the Projects of Common Interest (PCI) when applying for EU-funding and international cooperation.

- The CCS is a way of make a living after the oil. Everything points at Norway as a country that will succeed in this, with economy and technology competence as an oil-exporting nation, says Døvik.

- CCS is an important opportunity for Norway to create significant sustainable value going forward, based on its existing oil focused expertise and infrastructure. In additional, creating a robust CCS solution will enable land-based industry to make the transition to a more sustainable future, adds Lars Petter Maltby, leader of Eyde Innovation Centre.  


The recovery plan

The Northern Lights PCI partners has pointed out three main goals: 

  • CCS is a proven technology, necessary to decarbonise and safeguard European industry and jobs in a low-carbon economy.
  • The industrial projects that together make up the Northern Lights PCI have an extraordinary potential to reduce Europe’s CO2 emissions and create and protect thousands of jobs.
  • The Northern Lights PCI partners are ready to quickly move into execution, given the right political and financial framework –we can do it with your help.

Read more in "CCS and the EU COVID-19 Recovery Plan"

- A unique opportunity

The network points out that CCS has a key role to play in Europe’s green economic recovery after the Covid-19 virus pandemia.

"Europe is facing an unprecedented socio-economic crisis due to the COVID-19 outbreak, whose real impact is still to unfold. As the EU seeks solutions to reboot the economy and lead Europe out of the recession, we are presented with a unique opportunity to put the fight against climate change at the centre of the economic strategy. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects that can rapidly move into implementation should be considered in any economic recovery plan, due to their capacity to deliver quickly in terms of jobs and economic growth while delivering on the EU emission reduction targets," quoted from the paper.

A proven technology

According to the paper, CCS is a proven technology, necessary to achieve the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality objective.

CCS has great emissions reduction potential, as it prevents CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. CCS technologies are proven and also commercially available today.

Maintains the production

CCS can help safeguard existing industrial activity and jobs while decarbonising the economy. According to the report, CCS can play a crucial role in decarbonising European industry while maintaining its productivity, both through the capturing of CO2 emitted by industries and through the manufacturing of clean hydrogen for transport, heat and power.

Clean hydrogen

CCS supports a clean hydrogen and circular economy. Today, around 70% of hydrogen production comes from natural gas; if decarbonised with CCS, it will accelerate the establishment of clean hydrogen value chains. Such a development would create a new low-carbon industry and jobs, with the potential to account for 24% of final energy demand and 5.4m jobs by 2050.

The development of CO2 capture facilities and transport solutions can speed up the industrial re-use of carbon, thus acting as an enabler of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) to deliver a circular economy, since the deployment of these services is mutually beneficial for both CCS and CCU and will help bring costs down and create even more jobs.


The recommendations in the paper, is that EU policy can support and incentivise the development of cross-border CO2 transport and storage networks in Europe, including Northern Lights.

Additional, financial support and grants will be key to achieving early deployment of the CCS value chain in Europe.

Ensuring that CCS projects in Europe are eligible for EU and national public support and funding schemes should therefore be an important element in the Commission’s approach to promoting economic recovery.

"Supporting CCS now will not only stimulate new infrastructure projects and jobs, it will also help to develop a more optimised energy and industry system, with shared CO2 transport and storage infrastructure connecting different industrial facilities and processes, all whilemaking significant cuts to European CO2 emissions and helping to deliver on the Green Deal objectives", is the recommendations in the memorandum.

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