|THROUGH LIFE MANAGEMENT (TLM) BEGINS WITH PLANNING |
Increasingly on pipeline projects the work of applying for planning permission and pipeline works authorisations is becoming more complex. Traversing populated and congested areas is more common due to the increasing variation in the type of uses for pipelines such as CO2 transportation.
The progress of planning applications can have a significant impact on the project timescale and cost. Even an approved application may be unsuccessful in project terms if it does not bring with it the general public and key interested parties.
With respect to CO2 pipeline projects, there are a number of defining features which may add to the complexity, as follows:
- Carbon capture and storage is a new industrial technology.
- Often, power plants applying CCS technology are near to large areas of habitation.
If added to a coal fired power station, it is associated with "polluting" coal even though its intention is to reduce the polluting effect.
For these reasons and others, CO2 pipeline projects key consideration must be given to planning and public perception to get right.
A case study of the Barendrecht CCS project in the Netherlands has provided valuable experience to be applied in future projects. In 2007, Shell was awarded funding by the Dutch Government for a CCS project. The project entailed capturing CO2 at Shell's refinery in Pernis near Rotterdam. The CO2 storage site was proposed to be in two depleted natural gas fields two to three kilometres underneath the town of Barendrecht.
As soon as details of the project came into the public domain opposition to it began, some local people starting a campaign group against the project called "CO2 is NEE".
In November 2010, the newly installed Dutch government cancelled the project, partly motivated by the lack of support for the project among the local public.
The lessons learned are actually not complex though need to be taken onboard with the understanding that CCS technology requires a particular effort in terms of public perception and engagement of stakeholders. Key lessons of Barendrecht were:
- Communicate with stakeholders and the public from the early stages of the project
- Be prepared to listen and adapt the design to suit
- Understand your audience and communicate with them appropriately
Projects should conduct route selection objectively taking into account all the environmental, social and local concerns. Be prepared to back track before you get in too deep.
If you have any enquiries on CO2 pipelines, then please contact us by email or by calling us on +44 (0) 203 463 8529.
Lynn Andrews, Head of Transportation and Offshore