Context

The economic viability of CCS may be undermined by requirements to move CO2 long distances from point source/s of capture to appropriately characterised storage site/s (including onshore, offshore and/or transboundary).

The concept of one-size-fits all does not easily apply to CCS developments generally, or pipeline development specifically. Circumstances arise in terms of the size and locations of emitters, the phasing of emissions, distances to sinks, the availability, location and capacity of sinks and other factors that will all have a bearing on the configuration, costs and phasing (i.e. milestones) of investment in CO2 pipelines.

Pipeline developers inevitably seek to minimise their project costs by optimising engineering scale and minimising technical and financial risks through phased implementation strategies and striking of contractual arrangements between relevant parties.

A timely construction and operation of a CO2 pipeline project is contingent on successful planning, efficient approvals and consenting processes, and effective public consultation engagement (to understand and address the requirements of a diverse range of key stakeholders).

Pipeline infrastructure processes can take many years to secure all the necessary permits, and this can be exacerbated if projects span across multiple borders (a project can only really commence after all necessary permits have been secured from the responsible authorities in all countries). This may also include the establishment and publishing of tariffs.

As such, CCS infrastructure developers may choose to adopt the simplest configuration of pipeline design and decide to site them along routes that minimise these sorts of delays, rather than opt for options that provide opportunities to maximise CO2 abatement potential or minimise cost outcomes from a societal perspective.