MAN Energy Solutions (MAN) has been awarded a contract to supply three RG compressor trains for a carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) project in the Netherlands. When complete, the Port of Rotterdam CO₂ Transport Hub and Offshore Storage Project (Porthos) will transport CO2 that has been captured by companies in the Port of Rotterdam and store it in empty gas fields beneath the North Sea.
The companies will supply CO2 to a 20-mile (32-km) pipeline that runs through the Rotterdam port area. The CO2 will then be pressurized to 1914 psi (132 bar) and transported through a 12-mile (19-km) offshore pipeline to a platform in the North Sea. From this platform, the CO2 will be pumped into empty gas fields situated in a sealed reservoir of porous sandstone at a depth of about 11,500 ft. (3500 m). These gas fields are expected to have a maximum storage capacity of ~37 million tons (~31 tonne) of CO2.
Project organizers have signed an agreement with four companies to work in parallel over the coming months on preparations for the capture, transport, and storage of CO2 – ExxonMobil, Shell, Air Liquide, and Air Products. The capture is to take place at these refineries and hydrogen producers in Rotterdam, a region that accounts for over 16% of the CO2 emissions in the Netherlands.
MAN’s scope of work for Porthos covers the engineering of two RG 25-4 and one RG 31-4 type compressor trains with an order for three additional units intended at a later stage. The compressor trains will be located at a compressor station on Maasvlakte, the western extension of the Europoort port built on land reclaimed from the North Sea. According to MAN, the compressors can handle up to 285 tons (258 tonne) of CO2 per hour, depending on how many units are running.
Porthos is expected to store the first CO2 under the North Sea by the end of 2023. The finalization of MAN’s engineering contract is scheduled for late-summer 2020, whereas the material order is expected for the Q2 2021.
While carbon capture and storage (CCS) has been utilized for more than 20 years worldwide, what makes Porthos special is that it is one of the first projects to focus on the storage of CO2 from multiple companies and to use an open access approach. The system will be established as a kind of utility infrastructure for use by various companies.
The CO₂ infrastructure in Rotterdam is being be seen as the first step in developing a CCUS hub in the Rotterdam region, which offers future possibilities for other regions to transport and store CO₂ to depleted gas fields beneath the North Sea.
The Netherlands has embarked on a mission to cut greenhouse gas emissions 49% compared to 1990 levels by 2030 and 95% by 2050. To achieve the climate objectives, measures will therefore be necessary to reduce CO₂ emissions in the short and medium term. The capture of CO₂ from industries for subsequent use or storage underground is one of the measures being proposed to achieve these climate targets.