ABB's Shaft Generator System for Northern Lights CO2 Carriers
ABB will deliver the shaft generator system with permanent magnet technology for the first dedicated CO2-storage vessels ever to be built. The vessels will be constructed by the Chinese shipbuilder Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC).
Due for delivery in 2024, the two vessels will support the Northern Lights carbon capture and storage (CCS) project by transporting greenhouse gas from industrial emitters to an onshore terminal in Øygarden, Norway. From there, the CO2 will be delivered by pipeline to dedicated reservoirs 2,600 meters under the seabed in the North Sea for permanent storage.
Each of the 130-meter ships will be able to carry up to 7,500 cubic meters of liquefied CO2 in purpose-built pressurised cargo tanks.
ABB says that its permanent magnet shaft generator system is driven by the main engine, enabling increased efficiencies for vessels with fewer or smaller gensets and minimizing both capital and operating costs.
In addition, ABB says its solution has a smaller weight and installation footprint compared to a conventional solution, as well as high reliability and redundancy to enable over 99 percent uptime, and built-in safety features to help protect crew and equipment. The system’s customizable design and interface make it suitable for any vessel type, ABB says.
ABB’s scope of supply also covers full engineering and commissioning services. In addition, the vessels will have access to the ABB Ability™ Marine Remote Diagnostic System for continuous equipment monitoring, optimized machinery and planned-maintenance activities, and reduced maintenance costs.
Also, ABB said in June 2022 that it would also deliver the main electrical, automation and safety systems for the Northern Lights project, enabling the remote operation of the terminal and ensuring that the facility runs at optimum efficiency. ABB’s permanent magnet shaft generator system further supports the project’s ethos by offering enhanced vessel fuel economy and reduced emissions.
Northern Lights, a joint venture between Equinor, Shell and Total, is the first CCS project to develop an open and flexible infrastructure to store CO2 from industries across Europe. The first phase of the project is due to be completed mid-2024 and will have the capacity to permanently store up to 1.5 million tons of CO2 per year, with the ambition to expand to over five million tons annually in a second phase.
ABB has cited an IEA report, according to which today, CCS facilities around the world have the capacity to capture more than 40 million tons of CO2 from power and industrial facilities.
While the transport of trapped CO2 to permanent storage locations by pipeline is already deployed at large scale, it can present a challenge when the point of capture is further removed from a storage facility. Ships offers a flexible solution for long-distance CO2 transportation, ABB said.