The 2015-built platform supply vessel Aurora Storm is currently alongside in Esbjerg, Denmark, being prepared for a new role, transporting special containers filled with captured CO2 from Belgium to the Nini West platform in the Danish sector of the North Sea. The work on the vessel is being carried out by transport and logistics specialist Blue Water Shipping A/S and engineering and contracting specialist Semco Maritime.
Both are members of the consortium behind Project Greensand, a carbon capture and storage (CCS) venture backed by the Danish state and which plans establish a value chain for transportation and geological CO2 storage offshore in Denmark by the end of 2025.
Conversion of the Aurora Storm is part of the advanced pilot project for Project Greensand
“In the coming weeks, we will work intensively on rebuilding and upgrading Aurora Storm, so we can safely transport the containers of liquid CO2 from Belgium to the Danish part of the North Sea without any problems. We will install a grilling system on the vessel with the frame structure ensuring that the containers stay in their position on the vessel when we sail from Antwerp to the North Sea,” says Søren G. Nielsen, head of chartering at Blue Water.
In addition to the grillage system, the electrical systems on the Aurora Storm are also being upgraded. Piping and pumps are being added to the vessel enabling direct transmission of CO2 via the jack-up rig Noble Resolve from containers aboard the Nini West platform and then down into the sandstone reservoir 1,800 meters below the seafloor of the North Sea, where the CO2 will be stored safely and permanently.
“It is crucial for Project Greensand’s pilot phase that we get the CO2 transported safely from Belgium to the North Sea. This allows us – as the first in Europe – to demonstrate the entire value chain in the capture and storage of CO2 with a view to making a difference to the climate. Aurora Storm is one of the last and most important pieces in the initial pilot phase in Project Greensand,” says Søren R. Poulsen, project director at Project Greensand.
Meantime, the Noble Reserve has also arrived in Esbjerg, where intensive work is underway to inspect, upgrade and optimize it for the project. Semco Maritime has selected and delivered equipment for both Aurora Storm and Noble Resolve and is playing a key role in the preparation.
“We are excited that Aurora Storm and Noble Resolve have arrived in Esbjerg so that we can continue the work with Project Greensand,” says Anders Benfeldt, senior vice president for oil & gas at Semco Maritime. We have put intense work into designing and developing solutions for storing CO2 in the North Sea. “We now enter the crucial phase where everything has to be installed before we can begin the work on the Nini field.”