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France unveils its draft CCUS strategy

The government has opened a public consultation on its draft carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) strategy. The potential for CO2 sequestration for the industrial sector is estimated to be between 4 and 8.5 MtCO2 per year by 2030 and between 15 and 20 MtCO2/year by 2050.

The country will launch a support scheme through Carbon Contracts for Difference (CCfD) granted through competitive bidding to support industrial decarbonization projects, particularly those related to identified carbon capture and storage projects from the 50-site exercise. The scheme will be pre-notified to the European Commission in autumn 2023, and the first tender will be launched in the first half of 2024. The strategy prioritises major industrial zone: the ports of Dunkirk, Le Havre, and Fos-sur-Mer, then Lacq/Southwest and Loire Estuary, and finally Grand Est. These infrastructures will operate within a framework regulated by the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE). Finally, the government will launch a tender before the end of 2023 for geophysical exploration campaigns and CO2 injection tests at pilot sites, with initial tests in 2024-2025. These storage capacities could be located in former hydrocarbon exploitation areas.

In addition, the French industrial sectors and the 50 most emitting sites have submitted their decarbonisation roadmap and signed “ecological transition contracts”, aiming to halve emissions from industry within 10 years. These roadmaps identify the success conditions of the projects, including investment support and access to infrastructure (such as carbon capture and storage) and decarbonised energy sources (low-carbon electricity, hydrogen, biomass, etc.). The government committed to support these efforts through the deployment of infrastructure and competitive tendering for financial support for decarbonisation. The different industrial sectors have also committed to developing their decarbonisation roadmap for 2030 and 2050 in accordance with the set objectives.

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