The future terminal is to pump tonnes of liquefied carbon dioxide captured from the top of factory chimneys across Europe into cavities deep below the seabed.
The project in the western municipality of Oygarden aims to prevent gas from entering the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.
It “is the world’s first open-access transport and storage infrastructure, allowing any emitter that has captured his CO2 emissions to deliver that CO2 for safe handling, transport and then permanent storage,” project manager Sverre Overa told AFP.
As the planet struggles to meet its climate targets, some climate experts see the technique, called carbon capture and storage, or CCS, as a means to partially reduce emissions from fossil-fuel-based industries.
Norway is the biggest hydrocarbon producer in Western Europe, but it also boasts the best CO2 storage prospects on the continent, especially in its depleted North Sea oil fields.
The government has financed 80 percent of the infrastructure, putting 1.7 billion euros ($1.7 billion) on the table as part of a wider state plan to develop the technology.
A cement factory and a waste-to-energy plant in the Oslo region are set to send their CO2 to the site.
But the most original feature of the project is on the commercial side: inviting foreign firms to send their CO2 pollution to be buried out of harm’s way.
In its first phase, the Northern Lights scheme will be able to process 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year, then later between five and six million tonnes. But that is just a tiny fraction of annual carbon emissions across Europe. The European Union emitted 3.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2020, according to the European Environment Agency.
According to france24