Porthos CO2-capturing project in Rotterdam gets green light

Porthos, a project for storing carbon dioxide from industry in the port of Rotterdam, has been given the green light. The Dutch Council of State has ruled that the nitrogen released while constructing the infrastructure for CO2 storage does not significantly impact the nearby nature, contrary to what environmentalists claim. So the permits issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy are valid.

Over the next fifteen years, the Porthos project intends to capture about 37 megatons or 10% of all CO2 emissions from the Rotterdam industry and store them in the empty gas fields in the North Sea. This will reduce greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere and help in the fight against global warming and climate change.

Reasonable and sensible

According to Bas Janssen of Deltalinqs, the business association of logistics, port, and industrial companies in the port of Rotterdam, the Council of State’s ruling is reasonable and sensible. “This is an intermediate step toward further sustainability.” Nevertheless, conversations with nature and environmental movements remain essential, the man says.

Nature organization Mobilization for the Environment (MOB) initially opposed the construction plans for a compressor station and CO2 pipeline, fearing the damage to nature in nearby dune areas. But in the meantime, the competent ministers have demonstrated – based on objective data – that these natural areas “will not be significantly affected”.

‘Under the carpet’

Greenpeace is also not happy with the decision of the Council of State and calls it ” a fake solution that counteracts the transition to a climate-neutral society”. “Instead of using subsidies to shape the transition to a clean society, pollution is now being swept under the carpet,” Greenpeace director Andy Palmen states.

Also, the environmental organization Natuur & Milieu remains critical. “CO2 storage captures emissions from the fossil industry, but the business processes themselves are not yet sustainable,” they say. “Companies should be forced to become fully sustainable in the longer term, with 100% green energy.”

Interim solution

A spokesperson for the storage project previously emphasized that Porthos is an interim solution. Although the industry must become greener, for the time being, society is still very dependent on fossil fuels. So the capture and storage will be necessary, the initiators argue.

Construction of the facilities is expected to start early next year, and the first CO2 will be captured and stored in 2026, two years later than the initiators had planned.

The Porthos project was set up by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the Dutch Gas Union (Gasunie), and Energy Management (Energiebeheer). Oil concerns Shell and ExxonMobile want to participate.


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