In brief

INEOS unveils ambitious project to reduce CO2 emissions

ineos projet greensand
© INEOS

The aim is to extract carbon dioxide and store it at a depth of 1,800 metres.

This is a major breakthrough for INEOS and a world first for the industry. The group founded and led by Monegasque resident and billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe announced the creation of a ground-breaking carbon capture and storage (CCS) project on 8 March

The chemical industry giant wants to do its bit to ensure a clean and eco-responsible future through Project Greensand, a consortium of 23 organisations, including companies, start-ups, governments and universities.

The aim is to extract CO2 in Belgium and store it in a former oil field 1,800 metres below the seabed. The manoeuvre was carried out in the North Sea, near Denmark, with the consent of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.

Eventually, Project Greensand could extract and safely store eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year indefinitely, enabling Denmark to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030.

“This is a big moment for Europe’s green transition, and for our cleantech industry. The first ever full value chain, for carbon capture and storage in Europe. You are showing that it can be done. That we can grow our industry through innovation and competition, and at the same time, remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere, through ingenuity and cooperation. This is what Europe’s competitive sustainability is all about,” commented Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

The Commission even estimates that the European Union will need to store around 300 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050 to meet its climate change targets. This extraction process, should it prove successful, could therefore pave the way for other projects of this type. According to En Cause magazine, the UK could also benefit.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe said the project was “a breakthrough for Carbon Capture and Storage. It is the first time that carbon dioxide has been successfully captured, transported cross-border and safely stored offshore anywhere in the world.”

As founder of Project Greensand, Sir Jim Ratcliffe believes that “the task at hand for the industry and policymakers is now to support the continued development and deployment of CCS as an essential tool to mitigate climate change.”