Norway announces plan to spend billions on CO2 capture

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Norway announces plan to spend billions on CO2 capture
File photo: AFP

Norway’s government on Monday announced it is seeking to invest 16.8 billion Norwegian kroner (1.6 billion euros) to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.


The government unveiled the proposed investment in technology considered promising but extremely expensive the same day as climate activists protested in the capital against oil policy in Western Europe's biggest producer.

The project, named "Longship" after Viking vessels, "is the greatest climate project in Norwegian industry ever”, Petroleum and Energy Minister Tina Bru told a press conference.

The government said the first project would be carbon capture and storage at the Norcem cement factory in Brevik, in the south. The cement industry alone accounts for seven percent of CO2 emissions.

By 2024, the hope is that the Norcem plant would be able to capture about 400,000 tonnes of CO2, or nearly half of the 900,000 tonnes it emitted last year.


Other projects include a waste incineration plant operated by the Fortum power company in Oslo, provided other sources of funding, such as from the EU, can be secured.

"For Longship to be a successful climate project for the future, other countries also have to start using this technology," Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement.

"This is one of the reasons why our funding is conditional on others contributing financially as well".

The government is also considering funding the "Northern Lights" joint venture by Norwegian oil giants Equinor, Anglo-Dutch Shell and France's Total.

Liquefied CO2 would be transported from capture facilities to a terminal and injected via pipeline into a reservoir beneath the seabed.

The proposals will be examined by Norway's parliament and may be modified as the government does not have a majority.

The plans were unveiled just as activists from Extinction Rebellion staged a series of protests outside the Royal Palace Park and ministries in Oslo to demand an end to oil exploitation.

Members of the climate movement Extinction Rebellion demonstrate outside the Storting on September 21st to protest against the government's oil policy. Photo: AFP

Oslo police said 32 people were arrested.

Norway has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 55 percent by 2030.

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