News that the nitrogen issue is no longer a block to the development of the Porthos CCS project in Rotterdam brings closer the prospect of a major advance in acceptance of the technology. 

16 years ago EU legislation was put in place to provide for the safe and permanent storage of CO2 - which is essential if there is to be any hope of curbing climate change.

Years passed, and yet more years, with lots of talk about the need for CCS. The great hope within the EU came to centre on the Porthos project in Rotterdam because it would not only facilitate CO2 storage but promote its capture at installations in one of Europe's most concentrated industrial zones.

In turn, CCS development in Rotterdam, with practical support from the Dutch government, would send a powerful message about the need for CCS to the European Commission and Member State governments.

Porthos seemed ready to go two years ago but was held up by the nitrogen debate in the Netherlands. So, the Dutch were beaten into first place in the face for the first CCS Final Investment Decision by the Danes, with their Kalundborg BECCS project winning the FID gold star in May.

But Porthos is on a different scale and could create the basis of a CO2 transport network that will extend behind the Netherlands and Belgium and into Germany.

Well done to Denmark for being nimble on its feet, but the Dutch have (for both good and ill) been involved in developing CCS policy for much longer. Maybe now they will start to live up to their early promise and start to demonstrate just how important CCS will be in developing European support for widespread CCS deployment.