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Knutsen NYK and Pilot Plan Integrated Carbon Solution for Australia

Concept for a liquefied CO2 carrier with Knutsen’s ambient technology and offshore bow offloading system (Knutsen NYK/Pliot)

Efforts are underway to develop an integrated solution for marine transport and offshore injection storage of CO2 produced by large-scale industrial emitters in Australia. Pilot Energy, a junior oil and gas exploration and production company in Australia will collaborate with Norway’s Knutsen NYK Carbon Carriers for the initial three-year terms of their collaboration to assess the technical and commercial aspects of launching the integrated CO2 capture, transport, and storage operation.

Knutsen NYK Carbon Carriers was launched at the beginning of 2022 as a partnership between Knutsen and Japan’s NYK Group. The joint venture is focused on the technical and commercial development of a liquefied CO2 marine transportation and storage business. They have developed a propriety containment system technology that allows for the transport of liquified CO2 at ambient temperatures. Last week, they reported that they had been granted by DNV a General Approval for Ship Application.

“KNCC’s LCO2-EP containment system for the transportation of liquefied CO2 at ambient temperatures is an ideal solution to efficiently transport captured CO2 emissions from the Kwinana Industrial Area and provide a low-cost direct offshore CO2 unloading and injection system for permanent storage in the Cliff Head CCS Project,” said Brad Lingo, Pilot’s Chairman.

Pilot’s Cliff Head CCS Project involves the conversion of the operating Cliff Head offshore oil field, which is located about 170 miles north of Perth, Western Australia, into a permanent CO2 storage operation. The plan calls for a capability of storing over 1 mmtpa of CO2 on a continuous basis through to 2050 with over 50 million tonnes of potential total storage capacity. 

The Cliff Head project is also an integral component of Pilot’s Mid West Clean Energy project which calls for producing over 1.2 mmtpa of ammonia for export with approximately 99 percent carbon capture through fully integrated carbon capture and storage utilizing the Cliff Head CCS Project. It would also be available to manage carbon management for third-party companies.

The objective under the MoU is for Pilot and KNCC to develop solutions that will enable large-scale industrial emitters to transport via ship, ambient temperature LCO2 and to inject and permanently store CO2 at the Cliff Head CCS Project. In their initial research, they will target the provision of a CO2 transportation service to emitters based in the Western Australian Kwinana Industrial Area. Pilot and KNCC are initially targeting the decarbonization of approximately 8 million tonnes per annum
of CO2 emissions from the Western Australian Kwinana Industrial Area located near Fremantle and the port and serving the chemical and resource-based processing industries.

They believe Knutsen’s technology for the transportation of liquid CO2 at ambient temperature is an “ideal solution” to transport captured CO2 emissions from the Kwinana Industrial Area for injection and permanent storage at the Cliff Head CCS Project. These types of industrial operations have been highlighted as likely to be among the most difficult operations to decarbonize. Capture and storage is likely to be a leading solution to help the sector achieve net-zero operations.

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