9 March 2023

INEOS led consortium announces breakthrough in carbon capture and storage

Consortium led by INEOS creates breakthrough with Greensand project: first cross-border, offshore CO2 capture and storage

  • A world first, Project Greensand, shows that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can work after carbon dioxide (CO2) from Belgium is successfully captured, transported and stored under the Danish North Sea.
  • INEOS and their partner Wintershall Dea head the consortium of 23 organisations.
  • The project, aims to safely capture and permanently store up to eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, 40% of Denmark’s total emission reduction target.
  • Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said, “This is a big moment for Europe’s green transition, and for our clean tech industry.”
  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a Project Greensand backer and founder and chairman of INEOS, says, “This is a breakthrough for Carbon Capture and Storage. It is the first time that carbon dioxide has been successfully captured, transported cross border and safely stored off-shore anywhere in the world.”
  • Hugo Dijkgraaf, Board Member and Chief Technology Officer at Wintershall Dea says: “Project Greensand proves that Carbon Capture and Storage is a viable way to permanently store CO2 emissions under the North Sea. It has a crucial role to play in reaching net zero in Denmark, Europe and beyond.”

Today, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark officially initiated a world first with the safe injection of carbon dioxide from Belgium into ​ a spent oil well in the Danish North Sea.

Project Greensand, shows for the first time the feasibility of CO2 storage from being captured at an INEOS Oxide site in Belgium, to being transported cross-border and finally safely and permanently stored in the INEOS operated Nini field in the Danish North Sea.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said,

“This is a big moment for Europe’s green transition, and for our clean tech industry. The first ever full value chain, for carbon capture and storage in Europe. You are showing that it can be done. That we can grow our industry through innovation and competition, and at the same time, remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere, through ingenuity and cooperation. This is what Europe’s competitive sustainability is all about.”

The First Carbon Storage event to celebrate the achievement was held at in Esbjerg, Denmark today and hosted by INEOS and Wintershall Dea, lead partners in the Project Greensand consortium.

By 2030, Project Greensand aims to store up to 8 million tonnes of CO2 per year in this area while continuing to make significant contributions to our understanding and growth of carbon storage technology.

The European Commission estimates that the EU will need to capture and utilise or store between 300 and 640 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050to meet its climate goals.

Project Greensand is a consortium of 23 organisations with expertise in Carbon Capture and Storage, including business, academia, Government and start-ups. It is supported by the Danish state through the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP). CCS is considered a key technology in reaching the Danish 2045 net zero target.

The CO2 injected into the Nini field is stored at a depth of about 1,800 metres below the seabed and will be closely monitored.

Relive the moment by watching the short video, which shows Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, as she delivers her address for the First Carbon Storage event of 8 March.

“It is thanks to pioneers like you that Europe is leading the way in the race to net zero emissions. The first ever, full value chain for carbon capture and storage in Europe. You are showing that it can be done. Thank you very much for that.”

Hugo Dijkgraaf says,

“INEOS and Wintershall Dea are leveraging two decades of experience from oil production in the Nini West field and have extensive knowledge of the reservoirs being used.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe adds,

“This important milestone firmly demonstrates that CCS is a technology that can deliver on a global scale. The task at hand for the industry and policymakers is now to support the continued development and deployment of CCS as an essential tool to mitigate climate change.”

From Antwerp to Denmark by ship

INEOS’s ethylene oxide site at the port of Antwerp was the obvious candidate for participation in the pilot due to the immediate availability of high-quality pure CO2. ​

The production of ethylene oxide releases CO2 as a by-product in a high concentration. This CO2 has been captured for decades and, since 2010, also valorised through a cooperation contract with two industrial partners who use the CO2 for the production of carbonated drinks, greenhouse cultivation and dry ice, among other things. A limited tonnage (around 15 000 tonnes) of this purified and liquefied CO2 was reserved in function of the demonstration project.

Once liquefied, the CO2 will be transported by ship, the Aurora Storm. ​ The Aurora Storm has been adapted so that the ship can safely transport containers of liquid CO2. In time, another type of vessel, known as CO2 carriers, will be used for large volumes.

More information about Greensand