CO2 from Belgian INEOS site in Zwijndrecht successfully stored under Danish North Sea

  • A world first, Project Greensand, shows that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can work after carbon dioxide (CO2) from Belgium is successfully captured, transported and stored under the Danish North Sea.
  • INEOS and their partner Wintershall Dea head the consortium of 23 organisations.
  • The project, aims to safely capture and permanently store up to eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, 40% of Denmark’s total emission reduction target.
  • Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said, “This is a big moment for Europe’s green transition, and for our clean tech industry.”
  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a Project Greensand backer and founder and chairman of INEOS, says, “This is a breakthrough for Carbon Capture and Storage. It is the first time that carbon dioxide has been successfully captured, transported cross border and safely stored off-shore anywhere in the world.”
  • Hugo Dijkgraaf, Board Member and Chief Technology Officer at Wintershall Dea says: “Project Greensand proves that Carbon Capture and Storage is a viable way to permanently store CO2 emissions under the North Sea. It has a crucial role to play in reaching net zero in Denmark, Europe and beyond.”

Today, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark officially initiated a world first with the safe injection of carbon dioxide from Belgium into ​ a spent oil well in the Danish North Sea.

Project Greensand, shows for the first time the feasibility of CO2 storage from being captured at an INEOS Oxide site in Belgium, to being transported cross-border and finally safely and permanently stored in the INEOS operated Nini field in the Danish North Sea.

(read more below video)


Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said, This is a big moment for Europe’s green transition, and for our clean tech industry. The first ever full value chain, for carbon capture and storage in Europe. You are showing that it can be done. That we can grow our industry through innovation and competition, and at the same time, remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere, through ingenuity and cooperation. This is what Europe’s competitive sustainability is all about.

The First Carbon Storage event to celebrate the achievement was held at in Esbjerg, Denmark today and hosted by INEOS and Wintershall Dea, lead partners in the Project Greensand consortium.

By 2030, Project Greensand aims to store up to 8 million tonnes of CO2 per year in this area while continuing to make significant contributions to our understanding and growth of carbon storage technology.

The European Commission estimates that the EU will need to capture and utilise or store between 300 and 640 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050to meet its climate goals.

Project Greensand is a consortium of 23 organisations with expertise in Carbon Capture and Storage, including business, academia, Government and start-ups. It is supported by the Danish state through the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP). CCS is considered a key technology in reaching the Danish 2045 net zero target.

The CO2 injected into the Nini field is stored at a depth of about 1,800 metres below the seabed and will be closely monitored.

Hugo Dijkgraaf says, INEOS and Wintershall Dea are leveraging two decades of experience from oil production in the Nini West field and have extensive knowledge of the reservoirs being used.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe adds, This important milestone firmly demonstrates that CCS is a technology that can deliver on a global scale. The task at hand for the industry and policymakers is now to support the continued development and deployment of CCS as an essential tool to mitigate climate change.

From Antwerp to Denmark by ship

INEOS's ethylene oxide site at the port of Antwerp was the obvious candidate for participation in the pilot due to the immediate availability of high-quality pure CO2. ​

The production of ethylene oxide releases CO2 as a by-product in a high concentration. This CO2 has been captured for decades and, since 2010, also valorised through a cooperation contract with two industrial partners who use the CO2 for the production of carbonated drinks, greenhouse cultivation and dry ice, among other things. A limited tonnage (around 15 000 tonnes) of this purified and liquefied CO2 was reserved in function of the demonstration project.

Once liquefied, the CO2 will be transported by ship, the Aurora Storm. ​ The Aurora Storm has been adapted so that the ship can safely transport containers of liquid CO2. In time, another type of vessel, known as CO2 carriers, will be used for large volumes.

Storing CO2 safely in the North Sea

The Danish subsoil is suitable for CO2 storage. According to The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), it is estimated that there is a potential of storing 22 GT CO2 in the Danish subsoil – corresponding to approx. 700 years of Danish CO2 emissions on current levels.The sandstone fields of the larger Siri Fairway that holds the Nini field in the Danish North Sea are located at an optimal depth of 1.5-2.2 kilometres. It is geologically extremely stable and has retained gas and oil for more than 10 million years, constituting a very safe permanent storage site for CO2.

About Project Greensand 

  • The primary objective of Project Greensand is to store CO2 safely and permanently, potentially up to 8m tons of CO2 per annum from 2030 in the INEOS operated Siri area.
  • The storage potential will contribute significantly to Denmark’s 2030 overall emissions reduction target.
  • Project Greensand is supported by the Danish state through the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program – EUDP.
  • September 29 2022 , Vincent Van Quickenborne, Belgian Federal Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the North Sea, Flemish Minister for The Environment and Energy Zuhal Demir and the former Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Energy Supply in Denmark, Mr. Dan Jørgensen, entered into a ground-breaking agreement to enable captured CO2 to be shipped across borders and stored geologically – thus paving the way for Project Greensand to initiate First Carbon Storage.
  • December 6 2022, The Danish Energy Agency granted Project Greensand permission to store CO2 in the Danish subsoil as part of the pilot-phase.
  • February 6 2023 INEOS and Wintershall Dea received the first full-scale CO2 storage permit in the Danish North Sea issued by the Danish Ministry of Climate,- Energy,- and Utilities.
  • The FID for a full-scale project will commence after proof of concept, planned FID in second half 2023, and will have an estimated delivery duration of around 24 months after which carbon storage could be operational from around 2025.

About the Project Greensand consortium  

The consortium comprises major Danish companies, international companies with expertise in carbon capture, international research institutes and universities, as well as small Danish start-ups with ground-breaking ideas on monitoring technologies. 

Learn more about Project Greensand

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