Undersea graveyard for CO2 opens in Denmark

Undersea graveyard for CO2 opens in Denmark

Undersea graveyard for CO2 opens in Denmark

Denmark inaugurated yesterday a project to store carbon dioxide 1,800 meters beneath the North Sea, the first country in the world to bury CO2 imported from abroad.

The CO2 graveyard, where the carbon is injected to prevent further warming of the atmosphere, is on the site of an old oil field.

Led by British chemical giant Ineos and German oil company Wintershall Dea, the “Greensand” project is expected to store up to 8 million tons of CO2 per year by 2030.

In December, it received an operating permit to start its pilot phase.

Still in their infancy and costly, carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects aim to capture and then trap CO2 in order to mitigate global warming.

Around 30 projects are currently operational or under development in Europe.

But unlike other projects that store CO2 emissions from nearby industrial sites, Greensand distinguishes itself by bringing in the carbon from far away.

First captured at the source, the CO2 is then liquefied, in Belgium in Greensand’s case, then transported, currently by ship but potentially by pipelines, and stored in reservoirs such as geological cavities or depleted oil and gas fields.

At Greensand, the carbon is transported in special containers to the Nini West platform, where it is injected into an existing reservoir 1.8 kilometers under the seabed.

Danish authorities, who have set a target of reaching carbon neutrality as early as 2045, say this is “a much needed tool in our climate toolkit.”

“It will help us reach our climate goals, and since our subsoil contains a storage potential far larger than our own emissions, we are able to store carbon from other countries as well,” Climate Minister Lars Aagaard told AFP.