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Dutch agree to subsidise Rotterdam carbon capture project with €2bn

May 14, 2021
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By Paul Homewood

h/t Dennis Ambler

More money down the drain!

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The Dutch government has allocated €2bn to a project to capture and store carbon dioxide in an empty gas chamber under the North Sea, broadcaster NOS reported on Monday, quoting Shell and Rotterdam port sources. The Porthos project, which involves four companies based in the port area, will be the first large scale carbon capture scheme in the Netherlands. The 2019 government-brokered climate agreement states that half of the reduction in carbon emissions by industry could be done using the process. At the moment companies pay for the right to emit carbon dioxide – currently around €50 a tonne. According to Rotterdam port authority calculations, capture and storage would cost around €80 a tonne. This means the government will pick up the difference and the subsidy will drop as the price of carbon emissions rise. At the end of last year, Shell, ExxonMobil, Air Liquide and Air Products announced plans to apply for the Dutch government subsidy and said that by 2024, some 2.5 megatonnes of carbon dioxide could be stored in the empty gas chambers. The infrastructure to reach the gas chamber, some 20 kilometres off the coast, will be put in place by the port, Gasunie and energy group EBN with the aid of European funding. Critics Earlier efforts to capture and store carbon emissions in the Netherlands have come to nothing. One plan, also involving Shell, was abandoned after protests by locals. Shell is currently involved in other CCS projects in Canada and Norway. Environmental group Greenpeace, which did not sign the Dutch climate agreement, says CCS is an expensive way to delay making real improvements to cut pollution.

Read more at DutchNews.nl:

The Dutch government has allocated €2bn to a project to capture and store carbon dioxide in an empty gas chamber under the North Sea, broadcaster NOS reported on Monday, quoting Shell and Rotterdam port sources.

The Porthos project, which involves four companies based in the port area, will be the first large scale carbon capture scheme in the Netherlands. The 2019 government-brokered climate agreement states that half of the reduction in carbon emissions by industry could be done using the process.

At the moment companies pay for the right to emit carbon dioxide – currently around €50 a tonne. According to Rotterdam port authority calculations, capture and storage would cost around €80 a tonne. This means the government will pick up the difference and the subsidy will drop as the price of carbon emissions rise.

At the end of last year, Shell, ExxonMobil, Air Liquide and Air Products announced plans to apply for the Dutch government subsidy and said that by 2024, some 2.5 megatonnes of carbon dioxide could be stored in the empty gas chambers.

The infrastructure to reach the gas chamber, some 20 kilometres off the coast, will be put in place by the port, Gasunie and energy group EBN with the aid of European funding.

Critics

Earlier efforts to capture and store carbon emissions in the Netherlands have come to nothing. One plan, also involving Shell, was abandoned after protests by locals.

Shell is currently involved in other CCS projects in Canada and Norway.

Environmental group Greenpeace, which did not sign the Dutch climate agreement, says CCS is an expensive way to delay making real improvements to cut pollution.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2021/05/dutch-agree-to-subsidise-rotterdam-carbon-capture-project-with-e2bn/ n

 

2 billion euros for just a measly 2.5 million tonnes a year of carbon dioxide, just 1% of the Netherland’s total emissions!

And that’s only part of the cost, the £30/tonne subsidy. Companies already pay £50/tonne for emissions via carbon pricing, which ends up being paid by consumers.  Therefore the true cost is £80/tonne, a total of over 5 billion euro.

On top of that comes the cost of the infrastructure to reach the gas chamber, which is paid by EU funding.

It appears most of the carbon capture will apply to the oil refineries and power stations. According to Euractiv:

The Dutch government has granted a consortium that includes oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil around €2 billion in subsidies for what is set to become one of the largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in the world, the Port of Rotterdam said on Sunday (9 May).

Shell and Exxon requested the subsidies in January together with industrial gas suppliers Air Liquide and Air Products for a project which aims to capture CO2 emitted by factories and refineries in the Rotterdam port area and store it in empty Dutch gas fields in the North Sea.

I suspect the oil produced in the Rotterdam oil refineries results in much larger emissions when burnt, than this 2.5 million tonnes. Maybe if the Netherlands government is serious, it should simply shut down those refineries!

31 Comments
  1. Tim Leeney permalink
    May 14, 2021 6:35 pm

    I suspect that the difference between allocating 2 billion and actually providing that money may become apparent with the passage of time. Meanwhile, crazy not to apply for part of the subsidy. Not selling my Shell shares just yet.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 15, 2021 4:34 pm

      Shell were very quick to drop its UK CCS project when the taxpayer cash stopped. No doubt the same will apply here. Although these companies appear stupid in sucking up to the green mob they still understand it is the bottom line that counts.

  2. May 14, 2021 6:37 pm

    Disappointing, because the Dutch always seemed too sensible to throw guilders (or teueros) to prevent a non-existent problem!

  3. Broadlands permalink
    May 14, 2021 6:40 pm

    “…by 2024, some 2.5 megatonnes of carbon dioxide could be stored in the empty gas chambers.”

    But.. “2 billion euros for just a measly 2.5 million tonnes a year of carbon dioxide.”

    Wait… 2.5 by 2024 is even less. about 0.83 million tons a YEAR.

    Yet the total of 2.5 million tons of CO2 is so trivial it is hardly worth the costs. One part-per million of CO2 is 7,800 million metric tons. The 0.032% taken from the the atmosphere would not even be noticed. But the Dutch taxpayers will and so will Shell’s stockholders?

  4. Neil Mahony permalink
    May 14, 2021 6:46 pm

    Humans emit almost 3 billion TONS a year in CO2 Why not eliminate them instead? Oh wait, African termites emit more?? And what about the 700+ volcanoes under the oceans???

  5. DJF permalink
    May 14, 2021 7:26 pm

    How big are the scales that weigh this CO2? What about the harm the CO2 will do when buried under the ocean, will it be more or less than the proposed burial of spent nucler fuel fully encased in a large concrete block, (the snow flakes went ballistic when this was suggested), has there been any research into this, perhaps as much as how the world has warmed up over the last 100 years

  6. Devoncamel permalink
    May 14, 2021 7:43 pm

    Perhaps it’s a secret ploy to supply the extensive Dutch greenhouses with CO2 and increase yield.

  7. Stuart Brown permalink
    May 14, 2021 8:01 pm

    And why would Greenpeace be a required signatory to the Dutch climate agreement, pray tell?

    Devoncamel has a plan! I have another – doesn’t the Netherlands have a problem wiith subsidence and earthquakes from depleting the Groningen gas field? CO2 is heavier than methane – pump CO2 in the bottom and CH4 out the top. 1 for 1 and no net carbon release. Simples.

    I’ll accept payment for additional research in sterling, euros or bitcoin.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      May 14, 2021 9:43 pm

      Groningen gas already has a high CO2 content. In fact, it was deemed uneconomic to do much about it, so it has its own distribution grid and is know as L-Gas where the L stands for low calorific value. CO2 is already in the reservoir in large quantities in the gas phase, so I fear your scheme would merely serve to dilute the remaining methane. Some history:

      https://www.noordzeeloket.nl/en/functions-and-use/co2-opslag/

      Perhaps closure of the field will bring forward the date when it can be used for carbon capture. Interesting to note that a previous incarnation of the Rotterdam project failed.

  8. Mike Jackson permalink
    May 14, 2021 8:02 pm

    “ Environmental group Greenpeace, which did not sign the Dutch climate agreement, says CCS is an expensive way to delay making real improvements to cut pollution.”

    If Greenpeace really believe this codswallop then they are scientifically illiterate and should not be listened on any matter of scientific import. CO2 is not a pollutant, as I am sure they know. What point they are trying to make escapes and I am left assuming that they have some other agenda in mind but what “making real improvements to cut pollution” actually means and CCS delays is beyond me.

    • Sobaken permalink
      May 18, 2021 5:24 pm

      CCS would allow refineries and reliable power plants to operate even under very high carbon tax (80 euro/ton as the Dutch themselves claim). This is clearly in the way of making Greenpeace’s “improvements” of denying humanity the necessities such as vehicle fuel and electricity on demand, and thus interferes with their goals of degrowth and depopulation.

  9. May 14, 2021 8:12 pm

    If Greenpeace are not in the scheme, then where will they be sequestrating the CO2 from the diesel engines on their extensive fleet of ships ?
    .. pumping out CO2 as they take celebrities on trips upto the Arctic or Antarctic etc.

    • May 14, 2021 8:33 pm

      Scientifically illiterate maybe but politically (which is what this is all about) very astute.

      They want to BAN everything which make our free Western Society function. They do not want solutions. They are both eco fascists and anarchists. Any means to achieve their individual places at the top table (except there will not be one when this is all finished).

      Any free society has only a few degrees of freedom in which it can sustain destructive elements. Since the end of WWII the left have been unchecked, unlike the Right. Why do you think the fascist left is so obsessed with “The Far Right” because they do not want any possibility of challenge to their ideology. They want what they have which is pretty much free reign.

      Douglas Murray put it quite succinctly. “There is a huge demand for the Far Right from the left which far and away outstrips supply”. Listen to the garbage coming out of Capitol Hill and the White House and every rabid lefty in the UK. They are just obsessed with the promotion of a non-existent “Far Right” bogyman and CO2 MUST be continued as the bogeyman of climate at all costs.

      They do not want challenge because they have no mechanism to deal with it. Why do you think that debate is shut down on Climate? Simply because they know they cannot win. It would be dogma and claims against empirical data based science.

      Do you think the attack on mathematics and science as being racist is a coincidence? These people do not play fair and they cannot exist on a level playing field. Our very freedoms have permitted there existence and they use the very systems of the society which raised them against it’s self. They need chaos invariably caused by themselves to then offer themselves and their religion as our route to salvation.

      • May 14, 2021 8:35 pm

        Sorry but somehow this reply ended up in the wrong place….oooo errrr.

      • D J F permalink
        May 15, 2021 12:11 pm

        Whatever, it was still a very succient full appraisal of the state of the weak politicians and other leaders who should no better but feel they have to follow the flow to get votes or recognition. Look at the way commercial enterprises say how they are protecting the climate by making, growing, building in a sustainable way. It’s plain old commercial advertising which panders to those they believe are in the majority, the leftist woke bridgade.
        When is the majority who are convinced with this doctoring going to wake up!

    • May 14, 2021 8:34 pm

      That is “nice” CO2 Stew!

  10. May 14, 2021 8:14 pm

    Here we go again.
    “Environmental group Greenpeace, which did not sign the Dutch climate agreement, says CCS is an expensive way to delay making real improvements to cut pollution”.

    This egregious pap repeatedly shows what is going on. This is not about solving any claimed problems, it is about politics. Greenpeace know full well CO2 is NOT pollution yet they and their ilk keep repeating it because it serves their political end.

    They and there marxist masters want to rule the planet and they see destruction of Western Civilization as the easiest route to that end. They claim to “care” but the reality is these are religious fanatics and they do not care how many millions or billions suffer as part of their “true and just cause”.

  11. May 14, 2021 8:28 pm

    The title says “The Dutch agree to subsidise”
    That’s framing trickery cos they then say
    “The Dutch government has allocated €2bn”

    The first primes us to believe that the Dutch people are OK with the subsidy.

    BTW to go ahead with the scheme you have to convince yourself that the current CO2 situation is both harmful an irreversible unless you act right now.

    However one could think differently and set an atmospheric CO2 target for 2100
    then there are different paths to that
    eg try to get started today
    or wait much longer, probably some new magic technology will come up in 30 years time.
    You could do things like grow trees/seaweed and sequestrate that CO2 forever in swamps etc.

    • Broadlands permalink
      May 15, 2021 2:58 am

      Stew… “You could do things like grow trees/seaweed and sequestrate that CO2 forever in swamps etc.”

      Yes but difficult to do without carbon fuels for transportation. But in the end the oxygen that those plants emitted will recycle all that carbon back into the atmosphere…aerobic.respiration.The biomass and or the CO2 must be buried somewhere…long term.The fallacy of bioenergy being part of a viable solution.

  12. Shoki Kaneda permalink
    May 14, 2021 9:11 pm

    How brave of Dutch politicians to spend €2B of other people’s money on errant nonsense.

  13. Coeur de Lion permalink
    May 14, 2021 9:12 pm

    Erm, is this Dutch CO2 or Chinese from the atmosphere?

  14. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 14, 2021 9:56 pm

    The biggest power plant in the area is MPP3 on Maasvlakte right at the mouth of the river, right next to the HVDC converter at the Dutch end of the BritNed interconnector, which has been out of action a lot lately – from 8th December through 9th February, and again since 9th March to date.

    MPP3 is under threat of closure because of the Large Combustion Plant Directive, being a coal fired plant built to supply BritNed after Zac Goldsmith & co prevented the building of a new coal fired station at Kingsnorth in Kent (the other end of the interconnector). So the good news is that maybe it will continue to operate, since without it, it was getting hard to see where the power to supply the interconnector was coming from, potentially increasing our supply difficulties for the future.

    The bad news is that doubtless we in the UK will be expected to pay for it.

    Refinery fuel probably accounts for 7-8% of the throughput of the Rotterdam refineries, given the sophistication of their operations to convert heavier fractions and the extensive effort involved in meeting the ultra low sulphur standard that apply these days. Of course, the 92% of throughput that get used in vehicles, aircraft, ships, factories and homes and hospitals and greenhouses etc. will not be part of the carbon capture project. But that’s greenstanding for you.

  15. May 14, 2021 10:28 pm

    Shell’s Pernis refinery in Rotterdam has supplied CO2 to local greenhouses to fertilise the atmosphere for decades. Tasteless tomatoes but hugely successful business.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      May 15, 2021 11:48 am

      There also were subsidies for the gas oil used to heat them, generating CO2 in the process. I think these have finally been withdrawn.

  16. Gary Kerkin permalink
    May 14, 2021 10:54 pm

    There’s money for thems as have the courage to seek government subsidies. I used to think Elon Mush afforded the best example of this but I have to admit those who are in the middle of the climate change machinations are the best at it!

    Cheers,

    Gary

    CO₂ loves the planet; the planet loves CO₂

    >

  17. May 15, 2021 6:56 am

    CCS is an expensive way to throw away minute amounts of useful plant food.

  18. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    May 15, 2021 7:44 am

    Have not companies already been using sesquestration to eek out the last drops from their oil fields ?
    Only before they were paying for this operation themselves. Other uses of C02 – to kill pigs (Farming Today this morning).
    Regards nuclear – an enterpising British company was making cider from apples grown in the Exclusion Zone around Chernobyl. Then distilling it to make a vodka. Apparently so good Ukraine did not want to let it go !
    Reports are coming through that the old concrete cap on the reactor was leaking. Allowing water in. It is believed this was cooling the lava beneath. As since the newer cap has been in place the reactor is doing just that, reacting.
    As for the anti CO2 brigade – Extinction Rebellion founders – their idol is surely Pol Pot ? Whose aims appear to be the return of the hoe and worse.

  19. Vernon E permalink
    May 15, 2021 2:34 pm

    I posted about this a few days ago after seeing two execs interviewed on CNN. They are certainly not stupid guys and are in it for the money. But I still don’t understand how the finance works. Are the developers paid per tonne of CO2 sequestered? If so, where does the money come from? I know the answer will be “subsidies” but where do the subsidies come from? General taxation? Utilities billings? I just don’t get it. Somebody explain please.

  20. JCalvertN(UK) permalink
    May 19, 2021 9:39 am

    As long as it is the Dutch wasting their money on this nonsense, and not the UK, I don’t mind.
    Go for it! Craschy Dutchmen.

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