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Carbon Capture Technology to Get Trial Run in Rotterdam

The viability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in Europe will soon be tested in Rotterdam, where million of tons of greenhouse gases will be stored underground in land bordering the North Sea, according to a new report by Reuters.

The city, which hosts Europe’s largest port, is the last of 12 different European Union proposals to test out CSS technology in the region.

Scientists cited by the Globe and Mail said the development of CSS technology represents an “essential” goal if global climate change authorities remain serious to their environmental commitments.

The non-renewable energy market has so far been “reluctant” to fund CSS developments, though the trajectory has been changing in the past six months since the signing of the Paris climate change agreement.

The Netherlands has been a particularly strong advocate for the technology after a court ruling ordered the government to act faster against the effects of increased greenhouse gases earlier this year.

"We are extremely positive it will materialize,” the Rotterdam Port Authority told Reuters, noting that the final status of the $555 million project would be determined at some point in 2016.

"If there's one port anywhere where this should be achieved, it should be Rotterdam."

If approved, the ROAD project would allow for the storage of one million tons of carbon emitted into the atmosphere every year over a three-year trial period.

The CSS technology would compress carbon collected from a local coal-fired plant and pump the remains into a depleted natural gas field.

So far, the project has been awarded funding from Uniper, the owner of the Rotterdam power station, as well as other partners, such as the French company Engie, the Dutch government and the European Commission.

Hans Schoenmakers, a Uniper official in charge of ROAD, said the Dutch government’s support and the European Commission’s backing gave him confidence in the future of the facility.

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"There is a general belief there is no way around it," the official said. "We have to meet targets for CO2 reduction."

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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