Head of Joint Team Annemarie Manger on Aramis impact
“Aramis will soon contribute to meeting not only the climate targets of the Netherlands but also those of the whole of Northwest Europe.” That’s the promise of Annemarie Manger, who became Head of Joint Team on 11 April. Annemarie oversees a multidisciplinary team consisting of staff from Aramis initiators TotalEnergies, Shell, Energie Beheer Nederland (EBN) and Gasunie. The team may eventually grow to 55-60 members. “The partners are working together towards an ambitious goal: developing infrastructure to unlock offshore CO2 storage capacity for industry in Northwest Europe”, says Annemarie
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is not new to Annemarie. In her 13 years at Tata Steel, one of her roles was director of engineering and sustainability. She explains: “The perfect background for this job.”
Annemarie was actively involved with the Athos CCS project, which aimed to store CO2 produced by the steelmaker and nearby companies in depleted gas fields off the coast of IJmuiden. She says, “After two years, however, Tata Steel opted for a different route to reduce its carbon emissions: hydrogen-based production.”
Fortunately, all that hard work has not gone to waste. Annemarie’s extensive knowledge and networks will certainly be put to good use at Aramis.
Annemarie Manger - Head of joint team
Aramis – the company
The Aramis CCS project currently comprises several project teams in which all partners are represented. “Due to the different perspectives, it sometimes takes a long time to reach a consensus”, notes Annemarie. She therefore wants to move the project forward in a way that allows for faster planning and a speedier transition to an autonomous company. “In its new form, the project will represent all partners but as a mix of the overall joint team.”
Along with her colleagues, Annemarie is now working on a business plan in which the job descriptions, team composition and required IT systems are clearly defined. “And we are looking at how best to transition from the current situation.”
She expects the joint venture to be up and running in just over a year once the required competition clearance has been granted.
Annemarie also liaises with stakeholders, including Aramis customers, who capture CO2 and offer it for transport and storage, and the owners of the gas fields, who offer storage capacity. She also engages with future storage terminal CO2next and with Porthos – the first Dutch CCS infrastructure project. “Porthos is ahead of us,” says Annemarie. “But thanks to their lead, we can learn a lot from them.”
Annemarie and her team are also in discussions with the other partners concerning cooperation, licensing and the technical design for the onshore and offshore installations. She also maintains contact with NGOs, many of whom are hopeful but sometimes critical of CCS.
Building on previous jobs
When asked what attracted her to this position, Annemarie answers: “All aspects of this job build on what I did before.“
Annemarie started out as an engineer. After obtaining a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Groningen, she went on to design countless factory and offshore installations. “I always felt drawn to the maritime industry and take great delight in contributing towards high-impact sustainability solutions.“
Her background comes in handy when talking to Aramis colleagues and partners: “While I no longer design installations myself, I understand what the other engineers are talking about. This comes in extremely useful as it means we can act quickly.”
During the first few weeks, she was immediately struck by the team’s diversity: “There are big variations not only in business cultures but also in national cultures – some partners fly in employees from overseas departments. While one partner concentrates on diligence in establishing procedures and the overall decision-making process, another may be more focused on results. These contrasts complement each other nicely.”
Team diversity also means a wide spread of in-depth knowledge across all areas. “From permits and governmental procedures to offshore installations, it’s a luxury to be able to work with so many driven professionals who bring so much knowledge and expertise to the table. You can sense the passion for the project and just how important this climate solution is to everyone involved”, explains Annemarie.
Keeping local manufacturing alive
Annemarie’s interests and additional roles also fit in well with Aramis. For instance, she values the business the project generates for other Dutch and European suppliers: “I am passionate about the manufacturing industry and think it’s vital to preserve and strengthen it. Aramis is helping to prevent industrial companies moving their businesses abroad because this is their only option for reducing their carbon emissions in the short term in line with EU targets.”
She also regards CCS as providing impetus for a renewed offshore industry with fresh training and employment opportunities at all levels.
In addition to her position at Aramis, Annemarie is on the boards of super yacht builder Oceanco and the GroenVermogenNL programme, which promotes innovation and the scale-up of green hydrogen. She utilises the knowledge and contacts gained from her time at Tata Steel for the latter, while her passion for the maritime sector and her experience of large projects come together at Oceanco.
“The design and construction of large installations involve huge investments and risks,” she says. “I enjoy managing these types of projects.”
Annemarie considers both board positions beneficial to her work at Aramis. “Many people think in terms of either/or. I believe the opposite to be true. Results are strengthened by acquiring experience in a variety of roles. You can always benefit from developing more broadly and exploring new perspectives.”
Impact on climate targets
Even when sat at home with her family around the kitchen table, Annemarie says that the topic of achieving climate targets often comes up. She adds, “My children challenge me on the subject, of course, but the beauty of Aramis is that the prospective impact will be hugely significant. We will soon reduce carbon emissions produced by industry in Northwest Europe by 22 megatonnes per year. And we want to do this in a way that respects nature. We are therefore investigating options for nature-enhancing construction, for example, by including oyster beds with our seabed installations. Our ultimate goal is not only to minimise emissions produced by national industry but also to minimise the impact of the project.”