Chinese shipbuilder Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. has won a contract to build two CO2 carriers for Northern Lights, a Norwegian carbon capture and storage project.
Under the contract awarded by the Northern Lights JV, owned equally by Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies, the Chinese shipbuilder will build two CO2 carriers, each with a cargo size of 7,500 m3 and a length of 130 meters.
The two vessels, designed to transport liquid CO2 with purpose-built pressurized cargo tanks, are expected to be ready for delivery by mid-2024.
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 its kind and will potentially set a new standard for CO2 shipping on coastal trading routes," Northern Lights said.
"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 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.
The ships will be registered in Norway (NOR) and operated by Northern Lights under the Norwegian flag and classed by DNV.
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 for intermediate storage, before being transported by pipeline for permanent storage in a geological reservoir 2,600 meters under the seabed.
"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," Northern Lights said.
In December 2020, Equinor awarded contracts to Aker Solutions, to deliver the new CO2 receiving facilities Northern Lights outside Bergen, Norway, as well as for the delivery of the subsea equipment for injecting captured CO2 into a reservoir for permanent storage.
The Northern Lights project will initially include the capture of CO2 from Norwegian industrial capture sources. The Northern Lights project comprises transportation, receipt, and permanent storage of CO2 in a reservoir in the northern North Sea.
Initially, Northern Lights will have capacity to transport, inject and store up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
File image: Equinor