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Antwerp@C CO2 reduction project granted CEF funding

In Belgium, the Antwerp@C consortium has announced that two applications for EU funding, submitted by Air Liquide, Fluxys, Total, and Port of Antwerp to carry out technical and economic studies for a liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) Export Terminal, a CO2 backbone within the Port of Antwerp, and a CO2 cross border pipeline to connect to the Netherlands, have been approved.

As Europe’s second-largest port, the Port of Antwerp is a major lifeline for the Belgian economy: more than 300 line services to over 800 destinations ensure global connectivity. The Port of Antwerp annually handles around 235 million tonnes of international maritime freight and is home to Europe’s largest integrated (petro)chemical cluster. It accounts, directly and indirectly, for a total of around 143 000 jobs and more than EUR 20 billion added value (photo courtesy Port of Antwerp).

According to a statement, the partners of Antwerp@C are “delighted” that a Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grant is awarded to the project to pursue detailed studies, since broad support – especially financial support – by the EU, the Belgian Federal Government and the Flemish Government is essential to ensure the success of the project.

With this financial support, Antwerp@C reaches a new milestone and can engage one step further. The consortium is strengthened in its ambition to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions within the Port of Antwerp –  which totalled 18.65 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2017 – potentially by half between now and 2030.

Port of Antwerp, a carbon capture pioneer

The Port of Antwerp is home to the largest integrated energy and chemicals cluster in Europe. This makes it the ideal location to set up new, cross-border collaboration projects for innovative CO2 reduction.

To this end, Air Liquide, BASF, Borealis, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Fluxys, Port of Antwerp, and Total joined forces at the end of 2019 under the name of Antwerp@C, to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of building CO2 infrastructure to support future carbon capture (CC) applications.

Both carbon capture and storage (CCS) and eventually also carbon capture and utilization (CCU) – reusing CO2 as a raw material for the chemical industry – are seen as important routes in the transition to a carbon-neutral port.

Two pathways

Antwerp@C is pursuing two pathways for cross-border CO2 transport infrastructure, one for transport via an onshore pipeline to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and one for transport by ship to North-West Europe.

Two subsidies for detailed studies – concerning an amount of circa EUR 9 million have now been granted under the European funding program for Trans-European Energy Networks, Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

This innovative cross-border carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) project would be among the first and world’s largest multimodal open access CO2 export infrastructure.

This CEF award is a positive step to support CCS as a CO2 abatement technology for the industry in the Port of Antwerp.

In addition to this first step, a number of expression of interest applications are currently being prepared by the consortium partners for submission under the European Innovation Fund (EIF) that will be a key enabler to support the development of the entire CCS value chain from capture to storage.

The time is now to make the transition towards a carbon-neutral economy. Europe leads the way on a global stage. With Antwerp@C, the Port of Antwerp has the key to realize an innovative cross-border CCUS-project, a first of a kind in its concept and scale. We are proud to receive the necessary financial support for the study phase, as this project will contribute to the Flemish, Belgian, and European climate goals and to the increased EU 2030 targets for emission reduction to at least 55 percent, said Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp.

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