Dutch MPs agree three-month delay to CCS project
The Dutch parliament has given a provisional go-ahead to the Barendrecht carbon storage project, although a final decision will be delayed for three months while an assessment of broader carbon capture and storage (CCS) developments in the country is made.
The decision comes two weeks after a heated debate, which saw a number of opposition parties put forward motions to abandon the project altogether (see EDEM 13 January 2009). But while these motions were defeated in Tuesday's vote, an alternative motion from the minority party in the governing coalition, the Christian Union, was passed.
The motion called for the final decision on Barendrecht to be postponed to allow CCS technology to develop further in the north of the country so that bigger projects can be undertaken. The economic ministry was charged with the responsibility to send a letter to Parliament in three months' time detailing progress made.
Dutch minster for economic affairs Maria van der Hoeven argued the passing of the Christian Union amendment did not amount to a postponement of the project. But the lack of a formal decision means Parliament could theoretically decide not to give its approval to the Barendrecht project in three months. However, an economics ministry spokeswoman said there should be "no problem" in granting Shell the permit.
The Barendrecht site has a capacity of 0.8 megatonnes (Mt) and is scheduled to be up and running by 2012. Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell plans to use the depleted natural gas field to store carbon dioxide captured from its refinery in the Port of Rotterdam.
The Barendrecht vote came against the backdrop of significant community opposition. But the government has already said that if no problems are reported in the initial evaluation of the project, then permission will be granted for storage at a second, larger field with 9Mt capacity.
The Netherlands is estimated to have 800Mt of storage capacity under land and another 800Mt under sea.
Shell is just one of several major companies who are currently developing CCS technology in the Netherlands under the umbrella of the Rotterdam Climate Initiative (see EDEM 14 December 2009).
The Dutch government aims for two large-scale CCS demonstration projects to be operational by 2015 (see EDEM 21 December 2009). RA
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05 Dec 2013 21:39
05 Dec 2013 21:39