Eni Receives UK Government Approval for CO2 Pipeline Crossing England-Wales Border

By Mary Holcomb, Digital Editor

(P&GJ) — Eni has expressed its approval of the UK Government's decision to grant a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the HyNet North West CO2 pipeline, marking a significant step forward for the project.

The pipeline will facilitate the transportation of carbon dioxide from capture plants across the North West of England and North Wales to Eni's depleted natural gas reservoirs beneath the seabed in Liverpool Bay.

The DCO, issued by the Secretary of State for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), enables the construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure essential for transporting captured CO2 within the HyNet CCS cluster, where Eni serves as the transportation and storage operator.

The HyNet CO2 pipeline, the first Anglo-Welsh cross-border application for a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) to receive a DCO from DESNZ, is poised to become the world's first asset-based regulated CCS business.

“Carbon capture will play a critical role in meeting this challenge by safely eliminating emissions from industries that currently do not have equally efficient and effective solutions,” Eni's CEO Claudio Descalzi said. “This decision marks a significant step towards establishing a significant new industry for the country and consolidates the Eni’s leading position providing a service to decarbonize both its own and third parties' industrial activities at a competitive cost and with a fast time to market. This position was further reinforced following our acquisition of Neptune Energy, which gives Eni access to three additional COstorage licenses for a total gross storage capacity of about 1GT in the UK.”

This milestone represents the culmination of an 18-month determination process following Eni's submission of the DCO application in October 2022. The approval sets the stage for the HyNet CCS cluster to move closer to the execution phase, with a Final Investment Decision (FID) anticipated by September 2024.

Eni, as HyNet's CO2 transportation and storage operator, is at the forefront of efforts to decarbonize the South East of England and Thames region through initiatives like the Bacton Thames Net Zero project. Leveraging its extensive experience in developing natural gas fields, Eni aims to repurpose existing assets into CO2 storage hubs, enabling the decarbonization of industrial activities while supporting job retention and creation in energy-intensive regions.

With a transportation and storage capacity of 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year in its initial phase, the HyNet project is poised to significantly contribute to the UK's decarbonization goals, with potential for expansion to 10 million tonnes per year after 2030. By transforming industrial regions into low-carbon clusters, the project stands to preserve jobs, attract investment, and foster economic growth while advancing climate objectives.

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