Norway’s government has proposed to link a cement factory and a waste incineration plant to the in-development Northern Lights carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in what petroleum and energy minister Tina Bru said is “the greatest climate project in Norwegian industry ever”.

In a white paper to parliament, the government proposed a NKr25.1bn ($2.7bn) project called ‘Longship’ (Longskip in Norwegian) - in reference to the vessels used by Vikings to raid large parts of Europea a thousand years ago - which it would majority finance.

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The Norwegian government made clear, though, that the massive subsidies only make sense if the EU or other countries also chip in.

“For Longship to be a successful climate project for the future, other countries also have to start using this technology. This is one of the reasons why our funding is conditional on others contributing financially as well,” Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.

Of Longship’s estimated overall cost, NKr17.1bn are earmarked for implementing carbon capture at a cement factory in Brevik, southern Norway, and at Fortum’s waste incineration facility in Oslo.

Northern Lights

CO2 from both plants as part of the already existing Northern Lights transport and storage project are then supposed to shipped to a terminal at Øygarden in Norway’s Vestland County, and be pumped from there through pipelines to a reservoir beneath the bottom of the sea.

Northern Lights is a flagship joint CCS scheme between oil majors Equinor, Shell and Total, with the aim to eventually capture and store up to 5 million tonnes of CO2 from heavy-emitters around the EU.

The government in Oslo estimates operating costs for ten years of operations of the Longship project to amount to NKr8bn, but said the programme would only receive state aid in accordance with negotiated agreements. The Norwegian state’s part of the overall costs are estimated at NKr16.8bn, it added.

More plants could be linked to the project at a later stage.

“Longship involves building new infrastructure, and we are preparing the ground for connecting other carbon capture facilities to a carbon storage facility in Norway. This approach is a climate policy that works,” petroleum and energy minister Bru said.

· Ole Ketil Helgesen at Recharge’s sister publication Upstream contributed to this article