The area offers ample opportunity for the construction of CO2 infrastructure with storage of carbon dioxide in depleted gas fields under the North Sea, something referred to as Carbon Capture Storage (CCS). The study also points to the possibility of CO2 reuse, known as Carbon Capture Utilization (CCU). Tata Steel also enjoys a favorable geographic position when it comes to green electricity production. “We’re right next to the sea, where the major wind farms are going to be constructed. The electricity cables coming from out at sea will land right here, so we’re extremely well positioned,” explains Bart van der Meulen, head of the CO2-neutral program at Tata Steel. “We’re looking at a bright future for the IJmond region, with wind farms just around the corner and depleted gas fields already here on our doorstep.”
Working Towards Climate Targets
Tata Steel’s ultimate objective is to operate fully CO2 neutral by 2050. Before the technology is available to make that possible, an interim solution will be needed to allow the company to achieve the government’s climate target of a 49% reduction in CO2 by 2030. CO2 storage plays an essential role in the search for a solution. “Tata Steel will also need to contribute its fair share to solving the CO2 problem,” explains van der Meulen.
Tata Steel intends to work with Gasunie, EBN, and the Port of Amsterdam to conduct a range of further studies as part of ongoing development of the ATHOS (Amsterdam-IJmuiden CO2 Transport Hub & Offshore Storage) project. Van der Meulen considers the energy transition the greatest challenge of his career so far, but is encouraged by the recent study results. He explains, “The feasibility study demonstrates in particular that, technically, a CO2 network and storage can be achieved. Captured CO2 can be stored far from the coast at a depth of between three and five kilometers.”
An Ideal Location for Tata Steel
“There are no major technical impediments and no new technologies are needed,” explains Bart van der Meulen. He also highlights two major benefits for Tata Steel, “Tata Steel’s location offers considerable advantage over its competitors. No other steel company in the world is as close to depleted gas fields that can be used for CO2 storage as we are. Secondly, the infrastructure that we need is already here, and in great quantity, which will help to reduce costs tremendously. When do we envisage CCS being operational?The aim is 2027 to 2028, but before 2030 in any event.”
The study also shows that companies in the North Sea Canal area have the potential to reduce their CO2 emissions by as much as 7.5 megatons per year by 2030. “If you consider that industry in the Netherlands as a whole will have to have reduce its CO2 emissions by a total of 14.3 megatons by then, ATHOS really will be a major factor in achieving that target.”
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