A consortium of four companies will receive a subsidy of approximately €2 billion from the Dutch government towards the development of Porthos, one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage projects, according to news reports from NOS and Reuters.

The Rotterdam port area accounts for around 15% of CO2 emissions in the Netherlands. Beginning in 2024, the Porthos project could store approximately 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Porthos will transport and store CO2 that is captured by companies in Rotterdam such as hydrogen producers and refineries. The CO2 will be fed to a pipeline to be pressurised in a compressor station, and then transported through an offshore pipeline to a platform in the North Sea, approximately 20 km off the coast, and then pumped in an empty gas field more than 3km beneath the North Sea.

The four companies, including energy giants Shell and ExxonMobil and leading industrial gases companies Air Liquide and Air Products, requested the subsidies in January. Permit procedures for the project are expected to be complete in late 2021, with a final decision by the Porthos consortium planned for 2022, followed by construction of the system.

The project forms a significant part of the Netherlands’ decarbonization plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49% by 2030 and 95% in 2050, compared with 1990 levels. Carbon capture and storage is one of the key pillars in the Dutch plans to cut emissions, along with growth in renewable energy, use of residual heat and geothermal energy, increased insulation for buildings, electric vehicles, process industry efficiency and recycling.