04 12 2023

Aramis gaining momentum

On the morning of Wednesday, 16 August, we watched the livestream of the final decision on the Porthos project with bated breath. Would the construction of the first CO2 storage and transport project in the Netherlands get the go ahead? An important moment, also for Aramis, which is set to provide access to almost 10 times more storage capacity than Porthos. At 10.15 am, we were all cheering from behind our desks.

The green light for Porthos has provided relief while injecting fresh energy and vigour — everything here has gained momentum since the decision, adding to our boundless enthusiasm. For the last two and a half years, more than 300 people have been working tirelessly at Aramis initiators TotalEnergies, Shell, Energie Beheer Nederland (EBN) and Gasunie to get this unique project off the ground. Something that has never been done before in such a groundbreaking way and on such a large scale. All activities will soon be transferred to the new joint team comprising some 40 staff predominantly from our four parent companies.

But first, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to the large group of people who have worked so hard to bring us to this point. From engineering and IT to licensing, contracting and public relations, everyone’s efforts have been indispensable. Thanks to their relentless drive, we will soon be able to make the shift from the initial paperwork stage to the FEED phase (Front-End Engineering Design), when the contractor can begin the designs and we can set out agreements with our first customers.

Making connections: big challenge, great opportunities
Since taking up the position of Head of Joint Team this spring, I have learned that connections are vital to the CCS industry (carbon capture and storage). A successful CCS project depends on making connections within the team, with the owners of the storage fields and with partners, environmental organisations and policy makers. Due to the sheer scale of the project, making connections across the CCS value chain not only presents our biggest challenge but also our greatest opportunity.

Now that Porthos can move ahead, we want to go public with the Aramis project and involve more external stakeholders. In recent months, I have met with the European Commission, the NGOs Bellona and Natuur & Milieu, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and initiators of other potential CCS projects. I recently travelled to Norway to meet international CCS partners to discuss the numerous opportunities and challenges for CO2 transport in Europe.

With the Dutch general election just behind us, we will engage with politicians to raise awareness of the Aramis project itself and, more importantly, to advise them on CO2 transport while gauging the opinions of the political parties. We will also keep monitoring public opinion. Topics such as the nitrogen strategy remain highly relevant for our licensing and further planning. The sooner we know what’s ahead, the better we can prepare.

Annemarie Manger
Programme Director Aramis CCS