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EC targets EUR 480m of EU funds for CO2 transport, storage

(Montel) The European Commission has allocated nearly EUR 480m in EU funding to CO2 transport and storage projects as it seeks to create a “European carbon value chain”, it said on Thursday.

This includes EUR 131m for Norway’s cross-border Northern Lights project, which is to link several EU countries to a future CO2 storage site on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The EC has also allocated up to EUR 189m to D’Artagnan, a CO2 export platform at French port Dunkirk, EUR 157m for a CO2 import terminal and 200km subsea line at Dutch port Rotterdam and EUR 2.54m for the EU CCS Interconnector in Gdansk, Poland.

The funding comes from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which supports infrastructure projects identified as in the bloc’s common interest, known as PCIs.

The EC has said that carbon capture, storage and use will have a bigger role in helping the EU meet its climate goals after 2030.

It plans to publish an EU industrial carbon management strategy on 6 February, along with options for a 2040 CO2 reduction target, likely to be at least 90% below 1990 levels.

Norwegian fertilizer giant Yara signed the world’s first binding commercial agreement on cross-border CO2 transport and storage with Northern Lights in November.

The two firms said at the time that this would “kickstart the commercial market for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Europe.”

Northern Lights is the transport and storage part of Longship, the first full-scale CCS project in Europe, funded 80% by the Norwegian government.

Power, gas projects
The EC also allocated EUR 100m of CEF funding to the Gabreta smart grid project between Czechia and Germany, and EUR 1.22m for reinforcing the French-Belgian power interconnector Achene-Lonny.

It allocated EUR 12.77m to help increase capacity at the Depomures natural gas storage facility in Romania, to improve supply security in the region.

This was the last opportunity for gas projects to receive CEF funding from an open call for projects.

The EU has changed the eligibility rules to generally exclude fossil fuel projects going forward, in line with its goal to have a net-zero economy by 2050.