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Tuesday, October 12, 2021 

The Northern Lights carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, a joint venture owned equally by Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies, has ordered two dedicated CO2 carriers, to be built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co (DSIC) with scheduled delivery by mid-2024.

The 130m long vessels, each with a cargo capacity of 7,500m3, are designed to transport liquid CO2 with purpose-built pressurised cargo tanks. The primary fuel for the ships will be LNG, keeping emissions low. Other innovative technologies, such as a wind assisted propulsion system and air lubrication will be installed to reduce carbon intensity by around 34% compared to conventional systems. The ships are the first of its kind and will potentially set a new standard for CO2 shipping on coastal trading routes.

Børre Jacobsen, MD Northern Lights JV, said: “The award of these contracts is a significant milestone for Northern Lights. The use of ships will enable the development of a flexible and efficient European infrastructure network for transport of CO2 captured by our industrial customers, keeping costs as low as possible to help decarbonisation scale up. I am also very pleased that these ships will be built to keep their own emissions to a minimum through use of innovative technology.”

The ships will be registered in Norway and operated by Northern Lights under the Norwegian flag and classed by DNV.

DSIC Marketing Director Riqiang Hu said: “As a shipyard since 1898, DSIC has always been innovative and designed and delivered many record-breaking projects. Responding to the low emission strategy, DSIC worked together with Northern Lights for the development of the selected technical solutions over the last two years. The cooperation and efforts by both parties has been materialized in the award of these contracts today. Taking this opportunity, DSIC will devote ourselves to delivery of these pioneering projects in a safe, high-quality and timely manner and assist Northern Lights on the ambitions of low carbon emission.”

Once in operation, the ships will load captured and liquefied CO2 from European emitters and transport it to the Northern Lights receiving terminal in Øygarden in western Norway. The CO2 volumes will be accurately measured and reported throughout the value chain. These will be independently verified, and the necessary documentation provided to regulators and customs officials.

Through its cross-border CO2 transport and storage infrastructure, Northern Lights is enabling the first European full-scale CCS value chain, paving the way for cost reductions and scale-up of similar, future projects.

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