The EU Commission announced it will grant Air Liquide, Fluxys Belgium and Port of Antwerp-Bruges €144.6 million under the Connecting Europe Facility for Energy (CEF-E) funding program. The funding is earmarked for the construction of shared CO2 transport and export facilities on the Antwerp port platform. The grant award is a major step towards the final investment decision, expected in 2023.
The project, named “Antwerp@C CO2 Export Hub”, is set up as an open-access infrastructure to transport, liquefy and load CO2 onto ships for onward permanent offshore storage. CO2 captured on industrial players sites on the Antwerp port platform will be collected and transported via an intra-port open-access pipeline network. A shared liquefaction and export terminal will be built, including a CO2 liquefaction unit, buffer storages and marine loading facilities for cross-border shipping. This innovative project will be among the first and largest multimodal open access CO2 export facilities in the world.
As part of the project, Air Liquide and Fluxys intend to form a joint venture for the construction and operation of the CO2 liquefaction and export terminal. The joint venture will benefit from Air Liquide’s expertise in CO2 liquefaction and handling and from Fluxys’ experience in terminalling activities. Air Liquide will provide its proprietary technology for the CO2 liquefaction plant, which will be a first of a kind in its scale and design. The Port of Antwerp-Bruges reserved a plot of land for the terminal on a strategic location inside the port, and will build new quay infrastructures for the mooring of CO2 ships.
First phase of Antwerp@C
The project is the first phase of Antwerp@C, an initiative gathering Air Liquide, BASF, Borealis, ExxonMobil, INEOS, TotalEnergies, Fluxys and Port of Antwerp-Bruges with the ambition to halve the CO2 emissions in the Antwerp port area by 2030. In this first phase, Air Liquide and BASF will be the launching customers of the export hub through their joint CO2 capture and storage (CCS) project “Kairos@C”. The Antwerp@C CO2 Export Hub will have an initial export capacity of 2.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), with the ambition to reach up to 10 Mtpa by 2030. It will pave the way for future CCS initiatives in the region by providing scalable and modular infrastructures accessible to all industrial players.
Pascal Vinet, Senior Vice President and a member of Air Liquide’s Executive Committee, supervising notably Europe Industries activities, said: “We are very pleased that the Antwerp@C CO2 Export Hub project, supported by innovative Air Liquide technologies, has been selected by the Connecting Europe Facility for Energy program.Alongside the use of renewable energy, carbon capture technology is essential to achieve in a short time frame massive CO2 reductions and carbon neutrality objectives namely for hard-to-abate sectors. This initiative illustrates Air Liquide’s expertise and ambition to actively contribute to the emergence of a low-carbon society and to support its industrial customers in their decarbonization strategies.”
Pascal De Buck, CEO Fluxys, said: "We are delighted to launch this CO2 infrastructure project with Air Liquide and Port of Antwerp-Bruges. Together with our partners, we offer strong and complementary know-how and expertise for providing reliable and efficient decarbonisation solutions, essential for achieving climate change objectives and ensuring the long-term viability of the economy. Antwerp@C CO2 Export Hub is an integral part of the full-scale Fluxys CO2 approach, offering emitters in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, in Belgium and beyond, the opportunity to convey their captured CO2 through a backbone.”
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp-Bruges, said: “Port of Antwerp-Bruges has been committed from the very start in the Antwerp@C project in order to reduce the CO2 emissions on the Antwerp port platform by 50% in 2030. The fact that we have been awarded this CEF-E subsidy today, which means we can now start building a joint CO2 infrastructure, makes us particularly proud. It strengthens us in our conviction that as a port authority we must continue to fully assume our role as community builder in order to achieve a climate impact that reaches far beyond the boundaries of the port platform.”
Kairos@C is a joint Air Liquide and BASF project supported by the EU Innovation Fund that will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions at the BASF chemical site in Antwerp by 14 Mt of CO2 over its first 10 years of operation.