Italy's Eni, Britain agree to rules for carbon capture project

(Reuters) - Italy's Eni said it had reached an agreement with Britain's government on the key terms and conditions for providing services in one of the carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects under development in the country.

Eni is the carbon dioxide (CO2) transport and storage operator of the British HyNet North West consortium, which aims to transform one of Britain's most energy intensive industrial districts into a low-carbon industrial cluster thanks to CCS.

CCS technology removes C02 produced by industrial processes from the atmosphere or captures it at the point of emission and stores it underground.

"Today's agreement is a significant step towards establishing a significant new industry for the country," said Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi, adding the term and conditions agreed with Britain outlined a model that would provide the certainty needed for private sector investment in the CCS sector.

HyNet North West is expected to be operational by the middle of the decade with a storage capacity of approximately 4.5 million tons of CO2 per year in the first phase.

It has the potential to remove approximately 10 million annually after 2030.

Eni is planning a second CCS hub in Britain to decarbonize the Bacton Energy Hub and the Thames Estuary region, and has been granted a license to store CO2 in the depleted Hewett gas field in the southern North Sea.

It has also announced a CCS project in Italy that it aims to develop together with Italy's Snam offshore Ravenna.

The Italian group's goal is to achieve a total annual storage capacity of 30 million tons of CO2 by 2030 through projects under development not only in Britain but also in Italy, in Libya, Australia and Egypt.

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