CCS4CEE: Study trip to Norway, June 2023

CCS4CEE: Study trip to Norway, June 2023

Norway is regarded as the home of CCS technologies in Europe – consequently, for anyone professionally involved in their implementation, the country is a must-visit destination. At the end of June 2023, the CCS4CEE project hosted a study trip for project partners and a group of CCS stakeholders from Central and Eastern Europe. They, for the first time, were able to witness first-hand CCS as it is deployed. The group visited CCS sites, including, the Northern Lights CO2 terminal in the fjords of Bergen.

Day 1

The trip began in Oslo with a rather informal ice-breaking dinner that provided an excellent opportunity for the participants to connect and learn about each other’s affiliations and relevance for CCS. The next day the study trip officially kicked off with a half-day workshop led by the main organiser, Bellona. This was an opportunity for stakeholders to get to know each other better and find out more about what each participant expected to take away from the study trip. The participants represented a variety of backgrounds, so the presentations given that day aimed to level the general knowledge on the state of CCS technology deployment in Europe. The presenters were, in chronological order: Michał Wendołowski (Bellona Europa), Truls Jemtland (Celsio) and Szczepan Polak (Equinor). In addition, Kamil Laskowski (WiseEuropa) interviewed Eivind Berstad (Bellona Foundation), and later Ervinas Škikūnas (Civitta) moderated a panel discussion with Hanne Rolén (Aker Carbon Capture), Anders Melhus (Altera Infrastructure) and Eirik Falck da Silva (Sintef).

At the recent CCS4CEE events, the issue of public acceptance has been mentioned more and more frequently. Our group of stakeholders was eager to learn about public perception of CCS and lessons learned in the Norwegian context as public opposition is widely seen as one of the main barriers to rapid CCS deployment in CEE countries (in addition to legislative and financial barriers). The presenters also shared their experiences in this regard.

After lunch, we were driven to Porsgrunn, a town located 150 km south of Oslo.

Day 2

Our second day featured a visit to the Norcem cement plant in Brevik, operated by Heidelberg Materials, one of the world’s largest producers of building materials. The company is in the process of installing a carbon capture unit on their cement plant as part of the wider Longship project and thus in the future expects to become a supplier of captured carbon dioxide for storage to be handled by Northern Lights. From their presentation we received an overview of what a cement plant looks like from a bird’s eye view, how cement is produced, and the several ways in which CO2 emissions can be reduced, including the use of CCS which will on the long term be responsible for abating roughly two thirds of the plant’s emissions stemming from the calcination process that cannot otherwise be dealt with. Many of the tour’s participants represented the cement industry from the CEE region, so at the end of the session several technical questions were asked and experiences were shared. Interestingly, the cement plant has already been visited by some VIPs, including members of the Norwegian royal family and the German vice-chancellor from the Greens party, Robert Habeck. The level of awareness of the topic among the general public in Norway is also relatively high, and as a result, the local media eagerly reports on it.

In the afternoon the group moved on to Bergen.

Day 3

Day 3 was the highlight of the trip: on the last official day of the visit, we travelled to the Northern Lights terminal that is currently under construction at Øygarden. The project is part of the Norwegian government-backed Longship project. The terminal will receive, temporarily store, and facilitate the injection of captured CO2 into geological formations located 2,600 metres below the seabed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The project will become operational already next year in 2024, but it will likely be further extended to handle larger amount of CO2 storage as the demand increases for their service across Europe. Importantly, the Longship project has received substantial state funding, which has been instrumental for deploying it at an industrial scale and making it economically viable for the CO2 transport and storage operator, the Northern Lights JV (a joint venture between Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies).

The Northern Lights terminal is becoming somewhat of a tourist attraction; a visitor centre with a meeting and presentation room was built to showcase the project for visitors.

Captured carbon dioxide will be transported to the site by ships every four days. The ships being currently built for the project will be the largest of its kind in the world for transporting CO2. A key element that makes the service of CO2 storage possible to be according to Northern Lights is the combination of multiple modes of transport that enables the transport of CO2. Within the framework of the Longship project CO2 is transported by a combination of ships, pipelines, and trucks – in case of the Celsio carbon capture project as the waste to energy facility is not located directly on the seaside.

Currently, many more CO2 storage sites are being developed in Norway; approximately five of them are in the licensing stage, which should unlock Norwegian potential to a much larger extent.

At Øygarden we got a chance to take a close look at the installations being built there. It was the perfect finale for the Norway CCS study trip; everyone has certainly gained much new and practical knowledge which hopefully will galvanize CCS stakeholders to move forward CCS deployment in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.


The study trip aimed to showcase CCS projects currently under development in Norway to a select group of 39 stakeholders from the Central Eastern European region, including the representatives of national and local authorities, industry, civil society, and academia. We aimed to introduce stakeholders to the development of each step of the CCS value chain as well as invite them for a discussion on lessons learnt from the Norwegian experience with CCS that could be applied in Central and Eastern Europe. The study trip was organised by Bellona Europa, in collaboration with Gassnova.

The list of participants included representatives of: University of Zagreb; HOLCIM; NEXE d.d.; Europeum; Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic; Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic; Enefit; TalTech; Bellona Europa; Duna-Dráva Cement (Heidelberg Cement), Civitta; Schwenk Latvija; Latvenergo; Klaipedos Nafta; Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania; Kaunas University of Technology; WiseEuropa; PKN ORLEN; Cemex; EPG; Ministry of Energy of Romania; Ministry of Environment of Romania; Slovak Geological Institute Slovakia; Office of President of Slovakia; Salonit Anhovo, GP-Sistemi.

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