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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

New IEAGHG Report: 2023-04, Components of CCS Infrastructure – Interim CO2 Holding Options


This work, undertaken on behalf of IEAGHG by TNO, SINTEF and Vopak, provides an overview of temporary/interim CO2 storage, or 'holding', options (also called buffers) and investigates the role of buffer storage and its potential to create flexible and robust carbon capture and storage (CCS) chains.

The construction and operation of CCS infrastructure is crucial for the widespread deployment of CCS projects. The infrastructure process brings with it several risks, such as construction timing mismatches between capture plants and transport and storage networks, and both planned and unplanned outages of the transport and storage network. When these events occur, the emitter may have to operate unabated, resulting in CO2 emissions venting to the atmosphere until the supply chain is fully restored.

One approach to mitigating the risk of CO2 emissions during these events is to install 'interim', also known as 'temporary', CO2 storage facilities between the capture plant and the transport and storage network. Power and industrial CO2 emitters will require approaches to prevent CO2 emissions where there are potential temporary 'breaks' in the CCS supply chain between the capture plant and the storage site. The findings of this study may help to prevent these excess emissions and the need to rely on natural or man-made greenhouse gas removal approaches, whilst also looking into accounting metering issues measuring CO2 export and injection.

The report looks at current and emerging buffer technologies, conducts simulations to demonstrate the temporary storage required for given flow-rate scenarios and discusses the impact of buffer capacity on transport costs. In the report, the storage requested in the chain for normal operation is presented as " temporary storage" and storage to give buffer capacity is presented as "buffer storage". This report has focussed on buffering at the emitter site. The results of this study will benefit CO2 storage site project developers, operators, financiers and regulators.

Access to this report is restricted until May 2024. If your organisation is based in one of our member states you can request a copy of the report by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the report reference number (2023-04). 

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