The European Commission (EC) has granted the status of Project of Common Interest (PCI) to the planned liquefied carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and transportation project in Lithuania and Latvia, planned by “Klaipedos Nafta” (KN) and its partners. This means that the project is recognized as a cross-border project of great importance, which will significantly contribute to the implementation of the energy policy and climate goals of the European Union (EU).
KN plans to implement the CO2 capture and storage (CCS - carbon capture and storage) project together with the German capital companies “Akmenes cementas” and “SCHWENK Latvija” operating in Latvia, and the international shipping companies “Larvik shipping” (LS) and “Mitsui O.S.K. Lines” (MOL). The companies established the “CCS Baltic Consortium” consortium last year, performed a project analysis, a feasibility study and submitted a project application to the EC for the 6th PCI status.
The project aims to create a carbon capture and storage value chain in Lithuania and Latvia, which would include the capture and transportation of CO2 generated in the industrial sector by land and sea transport to permanent storage sites, potentially in the North Sea. In this way, the CO2 would be returned to its place of origin.
“CO2 capture and storage is an important part of the strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonize the industry. It is an important tool in stopping the processes of climate change and mitigating their effects, while not destroying the industries that are important to the states. The PCI status granted to the project we are planning with our partners only confirms the importance of the CO2 capture and storage infrastructure,” says Darius Šilenskis, CEO of KN.
“This area is particularly relevant in sectors for which a quick transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy resources is difficult, for example in our industry – cement production. What’s more, CCS is one of the most advanced technological solutions that could significantly contribute to the decarbonization of the cement industry,” says Arturas Zaremba, CEO of Akmenes cementas.
A. Zaremba notes that a total of about 1.6 Mt of CO2 could be captured in the factories of “Akmenes cementas” and “SCHWENK Latvija” in Lithuania and Latvia. This gas would be liquefied and transported by land transport to KN’s liquid energy products terminal in Klaipeda. Liquefied CO2 gas from the latter would be further transported by special ships to permanent storage sites in Europe. Specific locations have yet to be decided, but remote offshore gas storage facilities with the necessary geological features, such as the North Sea, which has huge potential, are commonly used for safe storage of captured CO2.
Currently in Lithuania, as well as in neighboring Poland and Latvia, carbon dioxide storage in the ground is prohibited. Therefore, for companies facing challenges in achieving decarbonization goals solely through process optimization, the capture and management of CO2, by exporting captured carbon dioxide to dedicated permanent storage sites, can become an important part of comprehensive measures. The carbon dioxide capture and storage value chain, which is planned to be created, will be able to be used not only by the companies initiating the project, but also by other companies in the region that are concerned with reducing their CO2 emissions in order to achieve climate change goals. As a result, the project is important both for the Baltic region and for Europe – it will help the countries fulfill their commitments in the climate field.
“The project meets the goals and strategic directions of our company’s long-term activity strategy. Carbon capture and storage is one of them. We have set a goal not only to achieve climate neutrality in our activities by 2050, but also to contribute to wider changes in this area and the currently ongoing transformation of the energy sector and decarbonization of operations,” says D. Šilenskis.
After the “CCS Baltic Consortium” project receives PCI status, detailed studies will continue and applications for EU funding will be submitted. It is expected that the project will attract large-scale EU investments to Lithuania and Latvia. It is estimated that the total investments can reach around 1.1-1.2 billion Euros. The final investment project is planned to be prepared at the end of 2026, and the CO2 capture and export operations will start in 2030.
KN‘s long-term strategy foresees investing approximately €300 million by 2030, with over 45% of capital investments dedicated to building new infrastructure and competences for the handling and storage of new energies, as well as to enhancing the sustainability and reducing emissions across all of KN activities.
KN is an international energy terminal operator that ensures safe and reliable flows of liquid energy, loading of chemicals and raw materials for users of the Baltic Sea region, and helps clients around the world with knowledge and skills to develop sustainable energy infrastructure projects. The company currently operates three terminals for liquid energy products in Klaipeda, Subacius and Marijampole, and is the operator of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Lithuania and Brazil. KN also provides commercial operation services for two of the three floating LNG terminals in Germany. To date, the company has contributed to over 10 different LNG projects worldwide.