CarbonCuts awarded exploration licence on Lolland for onshore CO₂ storage Project ’Ruby’

The Danish authorities have awarded CarbonCuts a licence to explore the possibility of a future onshore CO₂ storage facility on the island of Lolland. CarbonCuts expects to begin storage in 2030 or earlier following a successful exploration plan. The project, located near the town of Rødby, has been named ´Ruby´.

The Rødby formation is a 20 km long and 10 km wide underground formation on Lolland, more than 1,000 meters below the surface. The structure has been designated by the Danish state for its geological suitability for CO₂ storage. It is CarbonCuts’ ambition to permanently store captured CO₂ from industry in Denmark and emitters from nearby EU countries in this structure.

Climate, Energy, and Utilities Minister Lars Aagaard has today awarded CarbonCuts an exploration licence based on a recommendation from the Danish Energy Agency. The state-owned Nordsøfonden is participating as a partner in all licences.

The granted licence allows CarbonCuts to conduct a comprehensive multi-year exploration programme to ensure that the plans to establish a permanent onshore CO₂ storage facility in the geological formation at Rødby meet all geological, environmental, safety, and financial criteria. The final storage licence will be obtained only after satisfactory completion of the extensive subsurface investigations and once all licence criteria are met. Subsequently, CarbonCuts’ owners, BlueNord together with Nordsøfonden, can make the final investment decision (FID) to establish the CO₂ storage facility.

Ken Wesnæs, CEO of CarbonCuts, states: 

”This is a fantastic day for us. We are proud to be awarded the exploration license for ’Project Ruby’, which the team has worked hard on for a long time. The local authorities and businesses on Lolland have all welcomed us and our vision to contribute to the green transition. We look forward to taking on the task and executing the work program we presented in the application to the highest standards all around.”

Ken Wesnæs, CEO of CarbonCuts.

Euan Shirlaw, BlueNord CEO, comments: 

”We are proud of CarbonCuts’ capabilities and progress. The exploration licence is the first major milestone in the realisation of the Ruby Project, which will contribute to Denmark’s CO₂ storage ambitions and national climate efforts. We look forward to supporting CarbonCuts’ ambition to develop and implement Ruby as an important part of BlueNord’s energy transition strategy.”

Project Ruby: Ideal combination of geology and geography
The project is now moving from the drawing board to real action, and the first few years will be spent exploring and analysing the subsurface and infrastructure design in detail. As early as the winter of 2025, CarbonCuts plans to conduct 3D seismic surveys to ensure that the Rødby formation meets all criteria for establishing and operating a facility safely and sustainably over many years. CarbonCuts expects, with the outlined plan, to be able to begin storage in 2030 or earlier, aiming for approximately 1 million tons annually.

The project’s location near Rødbyhavn emphasises its international potential. 

“We are looking at different scenarios for the transport and import of CO₂ to Rødby, including receiving CO₂ directly at Rødby by sea via ships. This opens the door for a wide range of cooperation with other ports in Denmark and countries around the Baltic Sea that have limited options for CO₂ storage,” says Wesnæs. This approach ensures that CarbonCuts can play a central role in the region’s climate efforts.

Seeking dialogue with residents
CarbonCuts places great emphasis on contributing to local green growth and cross-sector collaboration on Lolland. Local engagement and early dialogue with the Rødby residents are crucial for the project’s success.

We have a strong desire for an open and ongoing dialogue with the local community. Therefore, as a first initiative, we will be inviting residents to community meetings at the end of August 2024, where we plan to inform and engage the community about the project’s progress and significance for the area,” says Wesnæs.

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