Α €2.1 billion (£1.9bn) carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Norway has been approved by the state aid regulator, the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority (ESA).
ESA ensures that Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway respect their obligations under the European Economic Area Agreement.
The full-scale CCS project will help Norway reach its climate goals by developing carbon capture facilities at a cement factory and a waste-to-energy plant.
Located in Brevic, the cement factory produces 1.2 million tonnes of cement annually, meaning there is enough heat to capture around 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
Fortum Oslo Varme’s waste-to-energy plant in Oslo, which treats mostly household waste and injects the recovered heat into a district heating system, plans to capture another 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The captured carbon dioxide is then to be transported and stored deep below the seabed in the North Sea – this part of the project is to be carried out by a joint venture between Shell, Total and Equinor, known as Northern Lights.
Bente Angell-Hansen, President of ESA, said: “This CCS project is a groundbreaking step towards tackling climate change, an issue that affects all of us.
“Protecting the environment is at the heart of the European agenda and ESA is pleased to work with Norway and the European Commission to find ways to support this important goal.”
The Norwegian Government is expected to cover around 80% of the project’s estimated budget.