Kairos@C aims to create the first and largest cross-border Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) value chain in Antwerp to capture, liquefy, ship and permanently store CO2.
The CO2 will be captured from 5 production plants on the BASF Antwerp industrial platform, liquefied via an export terminal located in the Port of Antwerp, and transported by ship for safe and permanent storage beneath the North Sea. The export infrastructures in the Port of Antwerp will be built under the umbrella of the Antwerp@C consortium and will be operated on an open access basis. Kairos@C will be the kick-starter of these shared infrastructures.
Kairos@C is a joint initiative of Air Liquide and BASF, who are joining forces to reduce CO2 emissions on the BASF chemical site in Antwerp. Air Liquide and BASF have been engaged in a strategic partnership in the Port of Antwerp for more than 50 years, and this ground-breaking project opens a new chapter of this cooperation towards developing a more sustainable industry.
Kairos@C has received financial support from the European Commission through its Innovation Fund, after a very competitive selection process involving more than 300 applications.
Kairos@C has also received financial support from the Flemish government in relation to the Innovation Fund support.
Both Air Liquide and BASF are also founding members of Antwerp@C, the consortium developing shared CO2 export infrastructures within the Port of Antwerp that would be accessible to all interested emitters.
Kairos@C is a full-scale cross-border European CCS project, which spans over the 4 building blocks of the full CCS supply chain: CO2 capture, CO2 liquefaction and export, CO2 shipping and CO2 storage.
Kairos@C’s will enable the deployment at industrial scale of pioneering technologies with strong replication potential throughout the industry: Air Liquide CryocapTM H2 technology for CO2 capture, a first-of-its-kind CO2 liquefaction and export terminal (10 times the capacity of the largest CO2 liquefaction unit in operation today), and liquid CO2 vessels on a hitherto unavailable scale.
Since we are facing a climate urgency, we have to act now. Both Air Liquide and BASF companies are committed to reduce their emissions and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. CCS is an attractive solution to reduce CO₂ emissions of the BASF site in Antwerp due to its prime location in the Port of Antwerp with direct sea access. Kairos@C project, unprecedented by its scale, already represents an important step on the path to climate neutrality.
Kairos@C received a grant of 356,9 million euros from the EU Commission Innovation Fund in 2022 for the realization of the project. This grant is necessary to bridge part of the funding gap of CCS, which currently comes with a significant additional cost compared to the alternative of continuing business as usual.
Safety is the utmost priority of all partners, and they will pay extreme attention to this point, before taking any final investment decision.
CO₂ capture and storage projects have already been successfully implemented in several regions in the world.
Now each field and each CCS project is different and as such all studies, tests and monitoring procedures need to be conducted with the highest professionalism.
We do not think renewable energies deployment should be opposed to CCS technology deployment. They are on the contrary complementary solutions. In fact, CCS will allow for the gradual shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies as it provides a rapid solution when there is no cleaner alternative. It is available now and will help us reach long-term targets, especially in hard-to-abate sectors and industries.
CCS should also be put in perspective of the development of the hydrogen energy economy, as it could accelerate the production of low-carbon H₂. Indeed, CCS is one of the solutions to produce low-carbon H₂, using our current well mastered and energy efficient natural gas method.
Kairos@C combines three first-of-its-kind innovations, embedded across the project. It is also the first time that a cross-border CCS chain is deployed for hard-to-abate CO₂ emissions, especially in Europe. On top of this, several elements in the chain have never been performed on such an industrial scale, e.g. Air Liquide CryocapTM technology, the energy efficient CO₂ liquefaction and export terminal (ten times the capacity of the largest CO₂ liquefaction unit in operation today) and the liquid CO₂ vessels.
Every single step of the complete CCS chain already exists, but not necessarily on the same scale.
The big innovation of Kairos@C is to bring all these elements together and scale them up to an industrial scale.
First, Antwerp is the second largest European port (after Rotterdam) and fourth largest European industrial cluster. In addition, the BASF site located in the Port of Antwerp is the largest integrated chemical production complex in Belgium and a flagship site for the two companies. Its prime with direct sea access makes it an attractive option for CO₂ carbon capture and export in the North Sea. Finally, the project will benefit from Air Liquide and BASF longlasting strategic partnership in the port of Antwerp which already lasts for more than 50 years.
Kairos@C is a prominent example of Sustainable Energy Technology (SET) Plan strategy implementation, which looks for clusters and hubs linking a range of carbon and energy intensive industries to increase synergies. The project will support the Port of Antwerp in becoming a regional hub for innovative energy and carbon value chains, hence contributing to the EU 2050 carbon neutrality objective. The project will also contribute to maintaining and reinforcing European industry’s global competitiveness, in line with the EU Industrial Strategy.
Monitoring of the GHG emissions avoidance is a key requirement under Innovation Fund grant agreement and under the EU ETS monitoring rules. The partners will implement a comprehensive and auditable monitoring plan that will cover the entire CCS chain for the duration of the project.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the granting authority. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.