Energy major Shell, Equinor, and TotalEnergies are moving forward with their joint venture project, Northern Lights, and awarding contracts for the building of two dedicated CO2 carriers to Chinese Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd., according to this company statement.
The Northern Lights project is Norway’s first license for CO₂ storage on the NCS and a major part of the initiative that the Norwegian government calls “Longship.”
As part of the first phase of its CO2 transport and storage infrastructure development, Northern Lights is building two dedicated CO2 carriers, each with a cargo size of 7,500 m3 and a length of 130m. The ships will be built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. (DSIC) and will be ready for delivery by mid-2024.
The vessels are designed to transport liquid CO2 with purpose-built pressurized cargo tanks. The primary fuel for the ships will be LNG, keeping emissions low. Other innovative technologies, such as a wind-assisted propulsion system and air lubrication will be installed to reduce carbon intensity by around 34% compared to conventional systems. The ships are the first of their kind and will potentially set a new standard for CO2 shipping on coastal trading routes.
“The award of these contracts is a significant milestone for Northern Lights. The use of ships will enable the development of a flexible and efficient European infrastructure network for the transport of CO2 captured by our industrial customers, keeping costs as low as possible to help decarbonization scale up. I am also very pleased that these ships will be built to keep their own emissions to a minimum through the use of innovative technology”, says Børre Jacobsen, Managing Director of Northern Lights JV.
Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. Ltd. is located in Dalian, Liaoning province, China. The shipyard is one of the leading shipbuilding groups in China. The ships will be registered in Norway (NOR) and operated by Northern Lights under the Norwegian flag and classed by DNV, the world’s leading classification society.
“As a shipyard since 1898, DSIC has always been innovative and designed and delivered many record-breaking projects. Responding to the low emission strategy, DSIC worked together with Northern Lights for the development of the selected technical solutions over the last two years. The cooperation and efforts by both parties have been materialized in the award of these contracts today. Taking this opportunity, DSIC will devote itself to delivery of these pioneering projects in a safe, high-quality, and timely manner and assist Northern Lights on the ambitions of low carbon emission,” says Riqiang Hu, Marketing Director of DSIC.
Once in operation, the ships will load captured and liquefied CO2 from European emitters and transport it to the Northern Lights receiving terminal in Øygarden in western Norway. The CO2 volumes will be accurately measured and reported throughout the value chain. These will be independently verified, and the necessary documentation provided to regulators and customs officials.
Through its cross-border CO2 transport and storage infrastructure, Northern Lights is enabling the first European full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) value chain, paving the way for cost reductions and scale-up of similar, future projects.