Northern Lights, the commercial project for the transportation and storage of CO2 for industrial emitters continues to gear up for its launch in 2024. Today, the company reported it has entered into an agreement with German shipping company Bernard Schulte for a fourth, special-designed CO2 carrier that will transport CO2 from Northern Europe to the company’s terminal in Norway as the first step in the undersea carbon storage effort.
Bernard Schulte part of the Schule Group shipmanagement company will own and operate the ship which will be under a long-term charter to Northern Lights for the cross-border transport of CO2. The ship will be a sister ship to three already ordered by Northern Lights and all will be built in China at Dalian Shipbuilding Offshore.
“Ordering this vessel is an exciting step in the expansion of Bernhard Schulte’s fleet portfolio in an innovative future tanker segment,” said Ian Beveridge, CEO of Bernhard Schulte. “We are looking forward to becoming part of Northern Lights industry-leading project to provide CO2 transport and storage infrastructure.”
Northern Lights is a partnership formed between Equinor, TotalEnergies, and Shell, as a commercial operation for the cross-border transport and storage of CO2. The company is developing a terminal at Øygarden in Norway which will receive the ships for the transfer of captured carbon emissions from industrial sites in Europe. Northern Lights recently entered into an agreement with Ørsted and Yara to receive CO2 from their operations. The liquified CO2 in be held in Western Norway before transfer by pipeline for permanent storage in a reservoir more than a mile and a half (2,600 meters) under the seabed in the North Sea. Northern Lights is scheduled to receive its first CO2 in 2024.
The ships were designed to carry liquid CO2 and are being built in China (Northern Lights)
The ships were custom-designed for the transport of liquified CO2 and will be the largest dedicated ships in the trade when the first ones are delivered in 2024. Each of the ships is approximately 426 feet (130 meters) in length. They have two cylindrical cargo tanks with a total capacity of 7,500 cbm of liquid CO2. The CO2 will be held at a maximum of 19 bar (g) pressure and a minimum temperate of negative 35 C.
In addition to being the first of their kind for the transport of large volumes of liquid CO2, the ships were designed to be energy-efficient in their operations. They will be fueled with LNG. The vessels also have a wind-assisted rotor sail and air lubrication for the hull. Northern Lights reports the ships will have approximately a 34 percent lower carbon footprint compared to conventional ships running on marine fuel.
The company recently highlighted that construction is 60 percent complete on the first two vessels. They initially ordered the ships in October 2021. The keel for the first ship was laid in April of this year. Japan’s “K” Line (Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha) was contracted to manage the operation of the first two vessels.
Northern Lights ordered a third ship in September 2023 citing increased demand for its service. Schulte reports that it is scheduled to take delivery on the fourth ship in the class in 2026.
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