Work on Europe's largest carbon capture site to start in Rotterdam next year

(Reuters) - Construction of Europe's largest carbon capture and storage facility will begin in the Rotterdam port area next year, its developers said on Wednesday.

The planned "Porthos" project will require an investment of 1.3 billion euros ($1.38 billion) and is expected to be operational by 2026, said its developers, who include the Rotterdam port authorities and Dutch gas company Gasunie.

Under the project, CO2 emitted by refineries and chemical plants operated by Shell, Exxon Mobil, Air Liquide and Air Products will be transported to empty gas fields under the North Sea around 20 kilometers (12.5 miles)off the Dutch coast.

There it will be stored at a depth of 3 to 4 kilometers under the seabed, reducing the Netherlands' annual CO2 emissions by an estimated 2% for a period of 15 years from 2026.

The companies involved will invest in their own capture installations to supply CO2 to Porthos, the developers said.

Capturing the CO2 emitted by large industries is seen by many experts as instrumental to the Dutch government's aim for a 55% reduction of those emissions by 2030, relative to 1990 levels.

Emissions in the Netherlands were around 30% lower than in 1990 last year.

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