Tuesday, May 24

She will soon receive a new report on the Langskip crack on the table

In a couple of weeks, we will find out if there is a danger of new billion cracks in Langskip. Two consulting companies are now reviewing the finances of the Norwegian prestigious project for CO₂ capture and storage.

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Marte Mjøs Persen (Labor Party) will soon receive a report on the risk that the Langskip project may become even more expensive. Here from a visit to the reception terminal for Langskip at Kollsnes.

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Will Longship could stay afloat costly? The two consulting companies Atkins Norway and Oslo Economics are now trying to answer that.

An urgent report from them will be placed on the table of Minister of Petroleum and Energy Marte Mjøs Persen (Labor) in early February.

At the end of November, the companies were commissioned to carry out another quality assurance of the Norwegian investment in capturing and storing CO₂. They have delivered everything since 2016 two major reports on the same topic.

This last assignment was given to them after Norcem spent a billion bucks at its CO₂ capture facility in Brevik this autumn. At the end of October, Norcem announced that their investment budget had burst so much that the agreement with the state on state subsidies had already been broken.

Must assess the risk of cracking

The consultants have been asked to find the reasons for the overruns at Norcem. And not least, they must assess the risk of new billion-dollar cracks. They will also present new estimates for how many billions of kroner the capture facility in Brevik will cost in the end.

The original estimate was to stay within an investment budget of NOK 3.3 billion with a 50 percent probability. Norcem’s own new estimate in October was increased to NOK 4.1 billion.

The excitement now is whether the consultants think it will take even more billions of kroner.

In addition to the investments, more than NOK 100 million a year will be incurred in operating costs for the first ten years. It is in those years that the state has promised to contribute most of the costs.

According to the plan, this is what it will look like at the cement factory and the supplying carbon capture plant to Norcem in 2024.

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The longship budget close to disaster after barely a year

Longships need Norcem

The budget has all been exceeded so much that both parties, according to the agreement they have entered into, can withdraw. But it will probably never happen. Without Norcem’s capture facility, the rest of Langskip will never be able to sail.

The plant in Brevik will deliver 400,000 tonnes of CO₂ a year to the company Northern Lights, which has been given the responsibility for storing the greenhouse gas under the North Sea. Northern Lights currently has no customers other than Norcem.

And the other planned Norwegian capture plant, for Fortum Oslo Varme, is completely in the blue. Fortum Oslo Varme has long considered whether to apply to the EU for funding again after receiving no billion support in November.

Are the Germans asking to contribute more?

The new report, however, may provide some ammunition to the government. This if it wants to ask German Heidelberg, which is Norcem’s owner, to contribute a larger share of the costs.

The budget, which has all cracked, implies that the state takes approx. 85 percent of the total investment and operating costs.

“We want to have good control of the updated cost estimate and the risk of further cost overruns before we seek to find an agreed solution for the project, in line with the grant agreement,” writes State Secretary Amund Vik (Labor) in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in an email .

Nothing new from the western front

Atkins and Oslo Economics have also been asked to look at the danger of billion-dollar cracks in the rest of Langskip. It’s about the Northern Lights storage section. In kroner and øre, this constitutes by far the largest part of Langskip.

Northern Lights is now building a large reception terminal in Øygarden municipality just west of Bergen.

To date, no problems have been reported by Northern Lights. On the contrary, they report that they are within budget and in accordance with the plans for progress.

Then we will see if the consultants who now quality assure Langskip again, agree with this.

Markets blue hydrogen

The report will not be ready until after Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) returns from his visit to Germany this week. The distribution of the costs for the overruns in Brevik is therefore hardly discussed on that occasion.

But during Støre’s visit, European investment in blue hydrogen will probably be a highly topical issue. Blue hydrogen is the term for hydrogen that is converted from natural gas, and where CO₂ is simultaneously captured and stored.

Europe needs energy and Norway has natural gas.

However, in order for the gas to be converted into climate-friendly blue hydrogen at reasonable costs, Langskip needs many more European customers than just Norcem.

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