- 27 Oct 2023

CO2 regional seminar in the Île de France region

The four main themes of CO2 capture, transport, storage and use were all discussed, in varying degrees of detail, during the seminar on 18 September in Paris. The Île-de-France region is characterized by the presence of medium- and small-scale emitters scattered across its territory, but it is the inland extension of France's third-largest industrial emitter zone, the Le Havre area, which is one of three zones in France defined by the French government as priorities for the deployment of CSCV.

The Île-de-France region is at the heart of the Paris Basin, a sedimentary basin with the largest sedimentary basin storage capacities in France, mainly in saline aquifers and to a lesser extent in depleted hydrocarbon fields. The French government will be setting up support strategies and incentives for manufacturers to implement CCUS, as the additional costs of CO2 capture are generally not yet integrated into industrial business models.

In 2019, around 5.5 Mt of CO2 were emitted by more than 40 sites scattered across the Île-de-France region, most of them small emitters, which represents a challenge for implementing CO2 capture. Only 6 sites emit more than 350 kt of CO2 per year: the Grandpuits refinery (541 kt/year), the Grandpuits fertilizer plant (646 kt/year), the waste-to-energy plants (Ivry: 572 kt/year; Saint-Ouen: 416 kt/year; Issy-les-Moulineaux: 384 kt/year) and two heat recovery facilities in Saint-Ouen (522 kt/year). A case study (Strategy CCUS project) focused on these waste-to-energy plants, which must also meet national and European waste reduction targets. However, the technical feasibility of building a capture plant in dense urban areas remains a problem (land availability and plant footprint), as does the absence (to date) of economic incentives to make CCUS operations profitable.

Another case study (PilotSTRATEGY project) focuses on the Grandpuits fertilizer plant, targeting storage in a saline aquifer (Dogger formation). The prerequisite for a pilot project is a better understanding of the subsurface, which has led to the launch of a 3D seismic campaign in 2022. The French government, aware of the need to gain a better understanding of the subsoil in order to carry out CO2 storage operations, will be launching a 3D seismic campaign in 2024, to supplement the knowledge gained from geothermal operations and past or current hydrocarbon exploitations. In the shorter term (E-CO2 project in Le Havre), capture facilities scheduled to be operational as early as 2027 plan to transport captured CO2 to offshore storage facilities (North Sea), by ship, with land connections between several CO2-producing sites provided by pipelines, which will need to be converted for CO2 transport. This hub-based interconnection of several emitting sites optimizes transport costs, although the cost of capture remains high, particularly for small emitters. Some operators are turning to CO2 storage strategies coupled with other technologies, in particular geothermal energy, as in the case of the project under consideration for the injection of dissolved CO2 and the exploitation of heat by geothermal doublet for the new waste-to-energy plant at Ivry. This makes it possible to optimize the energy demand for capture, and thus undoubtedly improve the financial closure of such an operation.