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Carbon dioxide logistics - a costly part of CCS, and vastly underestimated

October 25, 2021

A summary of Jasmine Nordenström speech at the Carbon Capture & Storage Conference 2021 organised by KLIMPO, Sweden.

Storing carbon dioxide

By first glance at the available storage sites in the North and Norwegian Sea we can count to nine different projects going live before 2027. What one need to remember as an emitter and potential provider of carbon dioxide, is to get on these storage operators interest lists to show your intentions because there is not an unlimited storage space - although in theory there might seem like that. We at Captimise is in communication with all storage sites, helping with letter of intent between emitters and storage sites in order to be on the interest list. There is of importance to start a dialogue and show interest early, as the storage operators are planning for the expansion.

Shipping carbon dioxide

Proposed, and in some cases ordered designs, loading capacities for ships varies between 7 500 m3 – 40 000 m3. And this variation is crucial as the optimal ship size is individual to each emission point source, both regarding the amount of carbon dioxide produced but also seasonal changes and harbour capacity.

What would be beneficial to standardize however is the pressure and temperature properties of liquid carbon dioxide. Right now, in the initial phase, we see both 7 bar/-55℃ as well as 15 bar/-25℃ being suggested for these ships. At least from a Capex and Opex perspective the 7 bar option is to be preferred as it offers more economical construction of the tanks also enabling the tanks to be larger meaning more carbon dioxide per each ship.

And don’t forget to use your life cycle goggles when it comes to the selection of fuel. We can’t run these ships on fuel which causes either extensive harmful emission nor large energy consumption from a non-renewable resource. That will only affect the credibility of carbon capture and storage and create a public and political opinion against it.

Harbour capacities

Larger ships are the one thing that will lower the cost of transportation. But not all harbours have the capacity to accept > 40 000 m3 or provide enough space to fit buffer storage equal to that ship size. If we look at Sweden, we see a lot of large emission point sources at the coastline of the Baltic. However, looking inland we see a lot of small – medium sized emission point sources which may not be the first to capture carbon dioxide but eventually they will. To plan ahead and ensure a scalable carbon dioxide logistics in Sweden we propose that large carbon dioxide hubs shall be located in the Baltic Sea where large ships can go between the hub and the storage site and smaller vessels adapted to local harbour conditions transport carbon dioxide from emission point sources to the hub.

Calling for a National plan for Carbon Dioxide Logistics!

As of today, each emitter is looking at their local harbour trying to adapt to the large amount of carbon dioxide that will in just a few years flow into the area. This nationwide suboptimization will not be enough if we want to reach the full potential of BECCS and CCS in Sweden. We need larger collaboration networks and secure carbon dioxide hubs. The option of pipelines also needs to be further investigated, we need to identify where it actually is economically feasible to use pipelines instead of small vessels on a national scale to be sufficient enough to meet the future demand.

We are calling for the emitters to organize themselves and a state founded public investigation on a carbon dioxide infrastructure strategy for 2045 and beyond!


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