A platform supply vessel, normally used to deliver goods to offshore oil and gas platforms, is undergoing preparations in the Danish Esbjerg port to carry CO2 containers for storage in the North Sea.
Offshore vessel owner Blue Water and offshore energy industry services firm Semco Maritime are rebuilding and upgrading the vessel Aurora Storm to become part of the Danish carbon capture and storage project Greensand.
Project Greensand is a group of 23 Danish and international companies collaborating to enable large amounts of CO2 to be stored in depleted oil and gas reservoirs under the Danish North Sea seabed.
The Aurora Storm will be used to ship containers with CO2 from Belgium to the Danish North Sea, where the CO2 will be delivered to the Nini West platform and then stored under the seabed.
This is part of the advanced pilot project in Project Greensand, which aims to contribute to the Danish green transition.
The Aurora Storm is docked in Esbjerg for the next three to four weeks. After that, it will sail to Antwerp, where liquid CO2 will be loaded into containers aboard.
Søren G. Nielsen, Head of Chartering, Blue Water, said Blue Water and Semco would install a grilling system on the vessel with the frame structure ensuring that the containers stay in their position on the vessel when the OSV sails from Antwerp to the North Sea.
Apart from the grilling system, the Aurora Storm's electrical systems will undergo upgrades.
The companies are also adding pipes and pumps to the ship. This will allow CO2 to be sent directly from containers on the Nini West platform through the jack-up rig Noble Resolve (formerly Maersk Resolve) and into the sandstone reservoir 1,800 meters below the seafloor of the North Sea, where it will be stored safely and permanently.
"At Blue Water, we see great opportunities in Project Greensand. We are proud to be part of a project contributing to solutions in the green transition. Capture and storage of CO2 give new perspectives – regarding climate as well as business. It is a worthwhile project with strong business partners, and one of our goals is to gain important experience that can benefit Blue Water and Denmark in the future", says Søren G. Nielsen.
According to Blue Water, the Aurora Storm has a strong dynamic positioning system that can keep the vessel stable at sea, even under the difficult weather conditions that may arise in the North Sea.
"It is crucial for Project Greensand's pilot phase that we get the CO2 transported safely from Belgium to the North Sea. This allows us – as the first in Europe – to demonstrate the entire value chain in the capture and storage of CO2 with a view to making a difference to the climate. Aurora Storm is one of the last and most important pieces in the initial pilot phase in Project Greensand", says Søren R. Poulsen, Project Director in Project Greensand.