Oil giants ExxonMobil & Royal Dutch Shell receive €2 billion in subsidies for Rotterdam Carbon Capture & Storage project

The Dutch government has awarded a consortium that includes oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil around €2 billion in subsidies for what is set to become one of the largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in the world, the Port of Rotterdam, Reuters reports.

Shell and Exxon requested the subsidies in January together with industrial gas suppliers Air Liquide and Air Products for a project which aims to capture CO2 emitted by factories and refineries in the Rotterdam port area and store it in empty Dutch gas fields in the North Sea.

Ccs

The companies involved have been told that their applications will be granted, port spokesman Sjaak Poppe told Reuters, confirming an earlier report by Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

This clears the most important hurdle for the project, which is set to become operational in 2024 and is expected to reduce emissions in the industrial cluster surrounding Europe's largest sea port by around 10%.

CCS, a highly questionable practice, is widely regarded as a means by which the fossil fuels industry can mitigate, and therefore justify, the world's continued dependency on oil and gas.

Carbon capture and storage is not, as its name suggests, a single technology. It can be defined as the separation, transportation, and sequestration of CO2 arising from burning fossil fuels. CCS is complex and requires expensive technologies, many of which come from the oil industry.

Robin Lovelace and Luke Temple, Climate Home News (2012)

Economy ministry spokesman Dion Huidekooper declined to comment on the reports on Sunday evening.

Details of the subsidies would be made public after decisions had been taken on all applications for this year, he said, which was expected to happen later this month.

The government has said it will grant a total of €5 billion in subsidies in 2021 for technologies that will help it achieve its climate goals.

The CCS subsidies are meant to compensate the companies for the extra costs of capturing the greenhouse gasses instead of emitting them, while the port will provide the necessary infrastructure to transport the carbon dioxide to the empty offshore gas fields.

Home to many large industries and Europe's main seaport, the Netherlands is among the countries with the highest emissions of greenhouse gasses per capita in Europe.

It aims to lower emissions by 55% relative to 1990 levels by 2030. Emissions were down 24.5% from 1990 levels last year.

Main image: Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant, By Sigrg - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/...

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