Carbon capture and storage is seen as central to plans to move to a lower-carbon future, but few commercial projects exist
By Nora Buli and Nerijus Adomaitis
OSLO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Norway said on Monday it would finance 16.8 billion crowns ($1.83 billion) out of an estimated total investment of 25.1 billion crowns for what could be the world's first full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project.
CCS has been cited by governments, energy companies and industry for decades as central to plans to reduce emissions and move to a lower-carbon future, but development has been slow and there are few commercial projects in existence in the world.
Under the plan, the Norwegian government would fund a carbon capture project at a cement factory in southern Norway operated by Germany's Heidelberg Cement.
The government would also finance a facility at a waste incineration plant in Oslo operated by Finland's Fortum - if the latter can find external financial support.
Oslo will also finance Northern Lights, a joint venture between European oil majors Equinor, Shell and Total that would transport and bury the captured emissions in an offshore geological formation in the North Sea.
Named Longship after the vessel used by Vikings, the project was a "milestone in the Government's industry and climate efforts", Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.
"The project will lead to emission cuts, and facilitate development of new technology and thus new jobs," she told a news conference.
This is the second time the oil-producing nation has tried to launch CCS. A decade ago Norway tried to capture greenhouse gas emissions at a gas power plant.
State oil firm Equinor, then called Statoil, failed to execute the plan, touted as Norway's moon landing, because of insurmountable cost issues.
(Editing by Gwladys Fouche and David Evans)