Rotterdam coal plant to store CO2 in North Sea oil & gas field

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The greenhouse gas released in the operation of E.ON's new coal plant on the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam, will be pushed into an existing light oil and gas field in the North Sea. The greenhouse gas will be used as a propellant and will make the extraction of gas and oil from the field cheaper, the Volkskrant reports.

The gas field in question is largely owned by private company Oranje-Nassau Energie, which has 45 percent of the shares. This new plan is an adjustment to the inital project, which involved building a pipeline from the power plant to a depleted gas field 20 kilometers off the coast, where the CO2 would have been stored permanently. The new plan is much cheaper, because the gas field is only 3.5 kilometers off the coast. This means that it can be operated from the Maasvlakte itself, making an expensive pipeline unnecessary.

According to the newspaper, the initiators of the project - the Rotterdam Storage and Capture Demonstration Project, in which E.ON and Engie are cooperating - expect to reach a deal with the European Commission on extra subsidy to make this happen within a few weeks. The German and Norwegian governments are also willing to support the project with tens of millions of euros to find out more about storing CO2 at sea. "All parties are optimistic about a positive outcome", a spokesperson for the Project said to the newspaper.