Supporting the project through environmental impact assessments, spatial adjustments and zoning plans.
Ensuring legal and technical permits are received.
Stakeholder mapping and management.
Negotiations and interpretation with authorities.
Carbon storage is an essential intermediate step to enable countries to meet their climate goals. Ultimately industries need to adopt sustainable technologies which avoid releasing CO2 into the air, but this takes time. During the transition, CCS can ensure the necessary reductions by providing storage of significant volumes at relatively low cost.
Central role guiding the project through to success
Porthos was initiated by the Port of Rotterdam and energy companies Gasunie and EBN. The infrastructure consists of a collecting pipeline across the Rotterdam port area which links to a compressor station. From there, CO2 is piped at a pressure of 80-130 Bar to an offshore platform in the North Sea, where it is pumped through boreholes to depths of more than 3 km and stored in the porous pockets of rock in former gas reservoirs.
Royal HaskoningDHV has been supporting the Porthos team, working in a collaborative partnership. We have provided support in environmental impact assessments, spatial adjustments and zoning plans, and ensured the necessary legal and technical permits are received. The assessments were wide-ranging, exploring potential impacts on an archaeological level, soil and wildlife, as well as noise disturbance, air pollution, water demands and more. While the sub-surface storage was outside the project scope, it did form part of the impact assessments. Our geophysicists used information from models of the behaviour of the gas underground to provide the required information and answers. Stakeholder mapping and management were critical throughout the project.
“We have achieved success for similar projects, so we understand the issues,” explained Evert Holleman, Senior Advisor, Energy Transition at Royal HaskoningDHV. “However, this is the first project on this scale and, because it is new, there are no blueprints. It means our role is important in guiding the project through the complexities and bringing it to a safe harbour.”
Porthos expected to go live in 2024The process is complex and dynamic, involving discussions with project partners, the technical team and with regulators, as well as providing regular progress updates for stakeholders. Where environmental impacts do not meet the regulatory requirements, project partners and technical teams liaise over the need for mitigations or new solutions. Equally, some regulations are not applicable to this novel scenario. In these cases, negotiation and interpretation with the authorities help identify suitable routes forward. With experience on previous projects, “The success of the project relies on making the right choices”, Evert adds. “The knowledge we bring means we can handle the complexity and maintain the confidence of stakeholders, supporting our partners in taking the whole project successfully to final investment decision.”
With environmental impact assessments complete and reports submitted, the final permits are expected soon. Porthos is aiming to be operational from 2024.