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European Commission grants PCI status to CO2 value chain project developed by CCS Baltic Consortium

The European Commission has granted the status of Project of Common Interest (PCI) to the carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and transportation project in Lithuania and Latvia developed by the consortium named CCS Baltic Consortium. The consortium consists of building materials supplier Akmenės cementas, oil and LNG terminals operator KN Energies, shipping service company Larvik Shipping, transport company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and building materials producer SCHWENK Latvija.

This grant means that the project is recognised as a key cross-border infrastructure project which will significantly contribute to the implementation of the energy policy and climate goals of the European Union (EU).

There are only 14 CO2 infrastructure projects listed in this award round as either PCI or Project of Mutual Interest (PMI) which is for key projects between the EU and non-EU countries. PCI and PMI can benefit from a number of advantages including eligibility for financial support named Connecting Europe Facility.

Source: KN Energies

The consortium was formed in 2022 with the purpose to create a carbon capture and storage (CCS) value chain in Lithuania and Latvia, which would include the capture of CO2 generated in the industrial sector and onshore and offshore transportation to permanent storage sites. Many works such as analysis, feasibility studies and applications for this grant have been completed for the project, with the commencement of operations scheduled in 2030. The PCI grant will surely accelerate future activities for the materialisation of the project.

“The project launched by the CCS Baltic Consortium is the first one of its kind in the Baltic region,” said Darius Šilenskis, KN Energies CEO. “In contrast, the rest of Europe has already progressed in exploring the prospects of carbon capture as a viable decarbonisation option. Teaming up with partners in the CCS Baltic Consortium, we’re committing to creating a sustainable carbon capture and storage value chain, contributing to the EU’s energy and climate goals. Also, this initiative reflects KN’s dedication to a more sustainable future.”

“Carbon capture is simultaneously one of our industry’s key tasks for the next decade, a major technical challenge and a pre-condition to the sustainability of and, ultimately, to the competitiveness of the GHG-intensive industrial sites like ours,” added Reinhold Schneider, CEO of SCHWENK Northern Europe. “To enable both processing and storage of the hopefully soon-to-be-sequestered CO2, we need to partner with relevant experienced industry players who know how to handle and deliver this GHG at great quantities. Hence we are part of CCS Baltic Consortium which seeks to set up respective infrastructure and provide an option for CO2 captured in the Baltics to be permanently stored offshore or brought to processing hubs.”

Currently in Lithuania as well as in neighbouring Poland and Latvia, underground CO2 storage is prohibited. Therefore, CCS can become an important option for companies in these countries facing challenges to achieve their decarbonisation goals solely through process optimisation. The consortium hopes that the CCS value chain created by the project will be used widely in the region and will contribute to the resolution of climate issues on a larger scale.

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