ECCO – A new EU funded CCS project

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Bellona has long advocated CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) as one of the main solutions to combat global warming. However, there are many barriers to remove before CCS can be a reality, and one of the main barriers is lack of a value chain for CCS, which means that there is no market for CO2.

The European Commission share Bellona’s point of view of CCS as a solution to mitigate climate change, and the Commission is therefore supporting a new project with the objective to establish recommendations for how to deploy a CO2 value chain. The project is called ECCO – the acronym for European value Chain for CO2.

EU project
"The aim of the project is to facilitate robust decision making regarding early and future implementation of CO2 value chains," says Dr. Aage Stangeland, Bellona’s energy adviser.

Bellona is one of 18 partners in the ECCO project. The project has a time frame of three years, and the total budget is close to €5.4 million, of which about €3.9 million is to be funded by the European Commission under the seventh framework programme for research and development (7FP). The project is coordinated by SINTEF, a Norwegian research institute.

"ECCO will probably remove many barriers and pave way for deployment of CCS in Europe," says Stangeland.

CO2 value chain
The project aims at identifying strategies for early deployment of CCS. As such, the project will analyse the potential of CO2 for enhanced oil and gas recovery (EOR and EGR). The production of oil and gas can be increased by injecting CO2 in oil and gas reservoirs, and the sale of this increased oil or gas production will result in CO2 as a commodity.

As such, there will be an economic incentive to establish EOR and EGR, which again can be the first phase of establishing the necessary infrastructure for wide deployment of CCS, meaning an infrastructure linking all large CO2 point sources to suitable storage locations.

CCS Recommendations
The partners in the ECCO project will carry out cost calculation, analyze how to remove regulatory barriers, and identify necessary incentives in addition to research on CO2 storage, EOR and EGR.

The final results of the project will be recommendations for how to deploy CCS in Europe and methodology for CO2 value chain assessment. Such recommendations will be highly appreciated by the European Commission which aims at making CCS commercially viable by 2020.

High expectations
Bellona has worked on conceptual studies for CO2 value chains earlier. Three years ago, Bellona published a report on a Norwegian CO2 value chain and concluded that a Norwegian CO2 value chain would be economically beneficial. Surprisingly, Norwegian authorities stopped work on creating the value chain last year, saying it would be too expensive.

"The decision of the Norwegian authorities to stop all work on CO2 value chains was very disappointing. We are therefore glad to see that the European Commission shares our view that there is a huge potential for CO2 value chains, says Stangeland.

Kai Tullius from the European Commission was at the Kick-off meeting for ECCO in Trondheim today, and he said that the Commission has high expectations for the project.

Large CO2 emission cuts
The European Commission is hoping that EOR and EGR will pave the way for a large infrastructure for CCS linking most of the CO2 point sources in Europe with suitable storage locations. Last year, Bellona published a scientific paper concluding that CCS can reduce European CO2 emissions by more than 50 percent by 2050.

"The ECCO project will give us important tools for realizing this huge potential for CO2 emissions reduction," says Stangeland.