Spain and France are working together on the first joint CO2 storage

by Lorraine Williamson
CO2 storage

Spain and France are starting the first joint CO2 storage system in Europe. The old gas fields in southwest France will serve as a storage location. Furthermore, this project will contribute to CO2 neutrality in 2050 according to the European climate law. 

The intention is that the storage will take place in the French Pyrenees (in the area of Lacq-Meillon), the Spanish news site Eleconomista.es wrote on Wednesday. This joint project is called the Pycasso project (Pyrenean CO2 Abatement through Sustainable Sequestration Operation). It aims at decarbonising the industry in the said region involving both French and Spanish companies. 

What does CO2 storage entail and what is it for? 

CO2 storage is a process of capturing, transporting and permanently storing carbon dioxide gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. The main purpose of CO2 storage is to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to combat climate change and global warming. 

Few European countries are still using CO2 storage 

At the moment, there are several countries around the world that are engaged in CO2 storage projects. Norway, Canada, Australia, the US and the Netherlands are some examples of countries involved in CO2 storage initiatives. 

Especially since this list of countries is not inexhaustible, the European Commission wants to step up the pressure and increase the demands on the industry in the field of climate change. The EU has therefore asked its member states to set concrete targets for CO2 capture and storage. 

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All energy-intensive industries must play their part in Europe 

To achieve the aforementioned climate target, all energy-intensive industries will be faced with targets for both CO2 capture and storage. 

On the Spanish side, Repsol, ArcelorMittal, Lafarge and around thirty other companies have already indicated their willingness to support this project. They are jointly investigating how the old gas fields in the southwest of France can be used to decarbonise industrial activities. This mainly concerns industrial companies in the south of France and the north of Spain that jointly emit more than 15 million tons of CO2 per year. 

Franco-Spanish project live in 2030 

The goal is that the Pycasso project will go live for the first time in 2030 and that 1 to 3 tons of CO2 can be stored annually. Then, phase 2 is planned for 2035, after which about 5 million tons of CO2 per year can be stored. 

The French Terega has described three possible options for realising the CO2 transport from Barcelona to Marseille so that the CO2 can eventually end up in the old gas fields for storage. In the coming period, various companies within the project will consider the best possible options to make this joint storage system a success. 

Also read: Spain puts trucks on trains to reduce CO2 emissions

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