Porthos has taken a final investment decision to develop the first major CO2 transport and storage system in the Netherlands. In 2024, construction will begin in Rotterdam, with the Porthos system expected to be operational by 2026.

The Porthos infrastructure requires an investment of EUR 1.3 billion. With the final investment decision reached, Porthos will now award contracts required to realise the project.

Porthos is a joint venture of EBN, Gasunie, and the Port of Rotterdam Authority. Porthos will provide transport and storage services to several companies in the port of Rotterdam, including Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil, and Shell. These companies will invest in their own capture installations to supply CO2 to Porthos.

Also read: CO2 storage in North Sea gets green light

Depleted gas fields

Porthos will transport the CO2 through the port of Rotterdam to depleted gas fields in the North Sea, approximately 20 km off the coast, where it will be permanently stored at a depth of 3 to 4 km under the seabed. Porthos plans to store about 2.5 Mton per year for fifteen years, totalling around 37 Mton. With that, Porthos has contracted its full storage capacity. The onshore transport system under construction allows for future CO2 storage projects.

‘CO2 storage is crucial if we want to achieve the climate goals in the Netherlands,’ says Hans Meeuwsen, Porthos director. ‘This investment decision is an important starting point for future developments in CO2 storage in the Netherlands.’

Boudewijn Siemons, interim CEO and COO of Port of Rotterdam Authority, adds: ‘It is wonderful that Porthos can now start with the construction work in the port. The CO2 storage will reduce emissions from the companies in the port of Rotterdam by ten per cent. Next to all our other efforts to start working with cleaner fuels, CO2 capture and storage is really necessary if we are to achieve a considerable reduction in CO2. With Porthos, we are taking the first big step.’

Also read: Will CO2 be stored in empty gas fields in the North Sea?

Carbon Capture and Storage

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a cost-effective way to keep large amounts of CO2 emissions out of the atmosphere in the short term. It is therefore an important pillar of the Dutch government’s climate policy. Thanks to Porthos, the Rotterdam port industry will soon emit about ten per cent less CO2. At the same time, the industry is working on the transition to processes based on renewable energy and raw materials.

To realise the project, Porthos partners with TAQA Energy, the present operator of the P18 gas fields, and specialised contractors and suppliers such as Denys NV, Allseas, LMR Drilling GmbH, Mannesmann Grossrohr GmbH, Corinth Pipeworks, Equans, Ensco Offshore, Van der Ven and Bonatti. Together, under Porthos’ direction, they will deliver the required infrastructure.

Also read: Port of Rotterdam sees CO2 emissions drop by 4% in 2022

Allseas to install pipeline

Allseas has been selected to construct the subsea pipeline. Starting 2025, the work includes installation, burial and commissioning of the 16-inch CCS pipeline connecting a compressor station on the Maasvlakte with the P18-A platform approximately 20 kilometres offshore.

Pipelay will be executed by Allseas’ dynamically positioned S-lay vessel Lorelay, with construction support from Oceanic. The vessels can position precisely and safely in the busy waters around Rotterdam, the busiest and largest port in Europe.

Allseas CEO Pieter Heerema: ‘Back in the mid-1980s, as the world’s first pipelay vessel operating fully on dynamic positioning, Lorelay installed some of the earliest gas and oil pipelines in the Dutch North Sea. The fact that almost four decades later, the same vessel will install the first carbon capture pipeline is a testament to our ongoing innovation and continuous improvement of our vessels’ capabilities.’

EU subsidy

The European Union recognised Porthos as an important project in meeting climate targets, declaring Porthos a Project of Common Interest and awarded EUR 102 million in subsidy for it.

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