CCS Europe side-event at the CCUS Forum 2023

On 27 November and 28 November, the annual CCUS Forum took place in Aalborg, Denmark. The Conference represents an opportunity for Europe to address the importance of carbon capture and storage technologies as part of the net-zero emissions targets.

On 28 November, CCS Europe co-hosted a side event sponsored by European Lime Association (EuLA) at the CCUS Forum on “Making CCS happen country by country”. The event focused on the state of play of CCS provisions in Draft National Climate and Energy Plans (NECPs).

The event was moderated by CCS Europe Director Chris Davies, and included keynote speeches by Rodolphe Nicolle, Secretary General of European Lime Association (EuLA) and Eadbhard Pernot, Policy Manager, Carbon Capture at Clean Air Task Force. EuLA stressed the need for CCS deployment within the lime sector in order for the industry to become carbon neutral by 2050. The lime industry is a highly energy intensive sector needed to produce materials that are mostly used for iron, steel, construction, and infrastructure appliances. 69% of greenhouse gases emitted by the lime sector are unavoidable due to the chemical process that decarbonizes limestone. However, thanks to CCUS technologies, the lime sector aims to capture 1,3 million tonnes of carbon by 2030, a number that will increase to 15,5 million tonnes by 2050. EuLa explained the current CCUS project carried out by the Lhoist lime production plant and Air Liquide’s innovative carbon capture technology. The project will cover the entire CO2 value chain, from capture to transport and storage into the North Sea. All in all, the project aims to reduce emissions by 87%. You can read more about the ongoing project here.

Building on this, the Clean Air Task Force presented the state of play of NECPs across the EU and drew the conclusions that CCS front-runners Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands have specified CCS in their respective NECPs. Other countries like France, Greece, Croatia, Lithuania, Germany and Romania have made some reference to CCS, but need to push for more ambitious efforts to include CCS in their NECPs. Substantial improvements are required from Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Slovakia.

The event also included a panel discussion with the European Commission, industry experts and Member States:

- Krzysztof (Chris) Bolesta, CO2 Capture, Use and Storage, Team Leader, DG ENER, European Commission

- Willie Coetzee, Director, Government Relations and Business Development, Honeywell

- Pieter Tavenier, Head of CCS Business Development, Gasunie

- Morten Skovgaard Olsen, Advisor for the Danish Energy Agency and the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities

Amongst the key arguments raised during this event, the panelists agreed that Governments play a key role in deploying CCS technologies and industry actors should continue their efforts in engaging and mobilizing policy makers to recognize the relevance of CCS to achieve the EU' climate objectives. The Director of Bellona Europa, Jonas M. Helseth, made the concluding remarks that all stakeholders have a duty to engage with Member States and keep pushing for a more progressive regulatory framework to support CCS.

Overall, the CCUS Forum has made remarkable steps towards implementing the right policy tools to deploy CCS technologies in the EU and set the path to industry decarbonization. In fact, Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, announced that five Member States, including Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, signed the Aalborg Declaration on enabling cross-border CCUS in Europe. This Declaration is an important step towards decarbonizing the hard-to-abate sectors, incentivising CCS projects and establishing CO2 transport infrastructure among countries.

On 6 February 2024, the Commission will also publish the Industrial Carbon Management Strategy. The Commission gave a preview of what could be included in the communication by announcing an industrial carbon management knowledge sharing platform to support CCS projects. The strategy will also support CO2 infrastructure development to promote EU-wide CCUS technologies. In addition, the Commission announced the launch of a CCS Observatory through a European Parliament pilot project to monitor, report, and verify CO2 capture in waste and cement incineration plants. Lastly, the Commission will provide standardized specifications for cross-border CO2 networks that will essentially bring CCS projects up to scale and meet the growing demand of CCS technologies.

Commissioner Simson also announced that 14 CO2 infrastructure projects were added to the list of Projects of Common Interests. These projects will benefit from faster planning and permit granting procedures and will be supported through additional finance from the EU.

In terms of additional next steps, the soon to be implemented Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) will aim to capture 50 million tonnes of CO2 storage capacity annually by 2030 and will set faster permitting procedures for CCS technologies. On 7 December, the Competitiveness Council adopted its position (general approach) on the regulation. Trilogue negotiations between the Commission, Parliament and Council are expected to start on 13 December. A second and third trilogue are scheduled for 22 January 2024 and 6 February 2024. In view of the next CCUS Forum held in France in 2024, CCS Europe stands by its founding statement of making CCS happen and pushes for an ambitious CCUS Strategy in 2024 that will facilitate cross-border CCS deployment.

Read also what our member Clean Air Task Force had to say about the CCUS Forum.

As a recap, please find the brochure of the CCS Europe event here and the presentation from Clean Air Task Force here.

To stay updated on CCS Europe engagements and activities, you can find our contact information here.

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