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Possible EU subsidy for international cooperation CO2 storage

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Possible EU subsidy for international cooperation CO2 storage. Image: Port of Antwerp
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The European Union is in principle willing to subsidize a project to store CO2 from the industry in Antwerp, Ghent, Zeeland and Rotterdam under the North Sea.

This is apparent from the list of energy projects that the European Parliament approved on Wednesday, 12 February 2020 and that have thus received the status of ‘Project of Common Interest’ (PCI).

The Porthos project is being prepared in Rotterdam in which various companies can supply CO2 to a transport pipeline running through the port area. Via this pipeline, the CO2 goes to an empty gas field under the North Sea to be stored permanently. The industry in Antwerp, Ghent, Terneuzen and Vlissingen does not have empty gas fields off the coast. It is being investigated whether this industry can be connected to the Rotterdam system via a pipeline. The goal is that less CO2 enters the atmosphere and climate change is prevented.

Capturing and storing CO2 (Carbon Capture and Storage, CCS) is one of the tracks in the transition to a climate neutral industry in 2050, in addition to, for example, production of green hydrogen, electrification, use of CO2 and recycling. It is expected that CCS will be applied in particular in the relatively short term and that more fundamental adjustments in the industry will be possible in the longer term. With CCS, CO2 can be kept out of the atmosphere in the relatively short term at relatively low costs. By working together, the costs can be kept as low as possible.

The port managers (North Sea Port, Port of Antwerp and Port of Rotterdam Authority) jointly investigate what the infrastructure between the ports should look like. They do that under the name ‘CO2 TransPorts’. Because CCS is an important tool in the fight against climate change for the European Union, CO2 TransPorts research has been given PCI status. CCS also plays an important role in the European Green Deal as a means to combat climate change. The three ports can apply for a subsidy in 2020 from a European infrastructure fund, the ‘Connecting Europe Facility’. The PCI status is valid for two years (2020 and 2021). The companies must then re-apply.

The industry in the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and North Sea Port are already interconnected with different pipelines. Pipelines are a reliable, safe and environmentally friendly means of transport. For example, the refineries in Antwerp and Vlissingen have been receiving crude oil by pipeline from Rotterdam for many years.

In addition to CO2 TransPorts, Port of Antwerp also joined another PCI application, Northern Lights. It groups a number of European industrial clusters that want to explore the possibilities for CO2 transport via ship to Norway. The Northern Lights consortium (Equinor, Shell and Total) is aiming to develop offshore CO2 storage capacity by 2023.

This link with two Projects of Common Interest allows the local Antwerp partnership of 8 leading parties on the port platform to study the feasibility of the various transport scenarios in more detail in the coming months.

 

Environment

A.P. Moller – Maersk links new $5.0bn revolving credit facility to its CO2 performance

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A.P. Moller - Maersk links new $5.0bn revolving credit facility to its CO2 performance. Image: Pixabay
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A.P. Moller – Maersk secures a new sustainability-linked revolving credit facility of $5.0bn through a syndicate of 26 selected banks. This is the first bank refinancing arranged by Maersk after its transformation from a diversified conglomerate to a global container logistics company.

The facility refinances the undrawn $5.1bn facility maturing in 2021 and has a tenor of five years which may be extended by up to two years. It will be part of the company’s liquidity reserve.

“We have received strong support from our global relationship banks. The facility was substantially oversubscribed, and we are pleased with the terms and conditions of the new facility. With the new facility we have extended the maturity profile of our finance commitments, while aligning with our sustainability ones,” highlights Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands.

The credit margin under the facility will be adjusted based on Maersk’s progress to meet its target of reducing CO2 emissions per cargo moved by 60% by 2030, which is significantly more ambitious than the IMO target of 40% by 2030 (all 2008 baseline).

In 2018 Maersk announced its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The new finance facility affirms Maersk’s efforts to drive sustainability into its operations and supply chains.

“We are determined to reach our ultimate target of becoming fully carbon neutral by 2050, and this agreement serves as another enabler for us to deliver on that ambition. Given the lifespan of our fleet, we need to find new and sustainable solutions to propel our vessels within the next 10 years. To realize this ambitious commitment, we are partnering with researchers, regulators, technology developers, customers, energy providers – and now banks,” explains Henriette.

Banco Santander S.A., London Branch, Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Designated Activity Company, Barclays Bank Plc, BNP Paribas, Citibank N.A. London, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Danske Bank A/S, Deutsche Bank, Handelsbanken, HSBC France, MUFG, Nordea, SEB and Standard Chartered Bank, joined as mandated lead arrangers.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., London branch, DNB Bank ASA, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Europe) S.A., Brussels branch, ING Bank, J.P. Morgan Securities Plc, Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Morgan Stanley Bank International Limited, Natwest Markets Plc, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Société Générale and the Standard Bank South Africa Limited, Isle of Man branch, joined as lead arrangers.

Crédit Agricole and SEB acted as Sustainability Coordinators. MUFG acted as Documentation Agent and BNP Paribas as Facility Agent.

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Gazprom Neft increases production of low-sulphur marine fuels

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Gazprom Neft increases production of low-sulphur marine fuels. Image: Gazprom Neft
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Gazprom Neft is expanding its production and sale of MARPOL-compliant environmentally-friendly marine fuels — the company’s Omsk Refinery having been producing a new 0.5 percent low-sulphur fuel since January 2020.

RME-180 M-grade marine fuel is a Gazprom Neft proprietary product. The transition to producing environmentally-friendly marine fuel has been made possible thanks to the ongoing development programme at the company’s Omsk Refinery, under implementation since 2008. Three and a half kilometres of pipelines to transport marine-fuel components to the mixing and shipment facility were installed at the Omsk Refinery in preparing for production of this new offering. On-stream analysers installed at the mixing facility monitor product quality, in real time.

Sales of environmentally-friendly marine fuels are undertaken by Gazpromneft-Marine Bunker, operator of the Gazprom Neft bunkering business. The first consignment of this environmentally-friendly fuel was undertaken onboard the Italian Ice Point tanker by a Gazpromneft-Omsk bunkering vessel.

Gazprom Neft is gradually implementing a comprehensive, integrated programme on the technological development of its refineries, targeted at increasing the production of ultra-environmentally-friendly oil products, and increasing refining depth. Modernisation projects mean the company can respond to changes in the market quickly, respond to industry challenges successfully, and increase efficiency, throughout the entire value chain. Implementing the refinery modernisation programme and improving Gazprom Neft’s bunkering and logistics infrastructure means we can supply our clients with environmentally-friendly marine fuels meeting the latest international standards.

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Wärtsilä to supply customized Hybrid Scrubber solution to two Norwegian Cruise Line ships

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Wärtsilä to supply customized Hybrid Scrubber solution to two Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Image: Wartsila
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The technology group Wärtsilä will supply Hybrid Scrubber system packages, specially customized to meet the specific needs of two cruise vessels. The ships are owned and operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL).

The 325 metres long ‘Norwegian Breakaway’ and ‘Norwegian Getaway’ vessels will be fitted with Wärtsilä scrubber systems, enabling them to be in compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) sulphur restriction legislation while operating on heavy fuel oil (HFO). The legislation became effective in January 2020. Customization of the system was required in order to meet the ships’ restricted space availability.

“Wärtsilä’s technical and engineering capabilities are once again emphasised with this tailor-made exhaust gas cleaning solution. Obviously not all installations are the same and there is no single system that fits all applications. Having the flexibility to adjust the design to meet the customer’s specific needs is an important value-adding feature of our offering,” says Sigurd Jenssen, Director, Exhaust Gas Cleaning, Wärtsilä Marine.

“We previously worked with Wärtsilä and are familiar with the quality and reliability of the group’s solutions,” said Giovanni Canu, VP, Special Projects and Operational Support at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “We were confident, therefore, that the team there could design and engineer a sulphur emissions abatement system that could be successfully integrated into our two vessels. The VSOx scrubbers are the right choice for this project, being both efficient and the right technical solution. They will allow us to serve our customers, the environment, and society in general by meeting and exceeding the strict regulatory and environmental targets.”

The Wärtsilä hybrid solution allows flexibility in the cleaning of sulphur from the exhaust gases. When operating in closed-loop mode, the wash water circulates from the scrubber unit to a process tank, with seawater being used as make-up replenishment water as needed.

The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2020. For the past seven years, Wärtsilä has had an engine maintenance agreement with NCL, and four new NCL cruise ships, currently under construction, will be fitted with Wärtsilä engines and scrubber systems.

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