Italy’s Eni has come to an agreement in principle with the UK Government’s Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) for a regulatory framework that will govern the HyNet carbon capture and storage (CCS) project.

The ‘heads of terms’ agreement between the parties outlines key terms and conditions for economic, regulatory and governance models for CO₂ transport and storage at the HyNet North West industrial CCS cluster.

Eni said that principles outlined in the heads of terms will allow for final agreements to be concluded in the coming months.

The agreement also marks a significant milestone in the advancement of the HyNet North West project, which is expected to become the world’s first asset-based, regulated CCS business, the company stated.

In a press statement, Eni said: “Eni believes CCS could be crucial in energy transition strategy and it becomes a significant business for the company. It has established a leading position in the UK where Eni is the CO₂ transport and storage operator of the HyNet North West consortium.”

Due to be commissioned by the middle of the current decade, the HyNet North West project is intended to facilitate carbon transportation and storage for companies in the North West of England and North Wales.

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By GlobalData

The project is expected to have a storage capacity of around 4.5 million tonnes of CO₂ annually in the first phase.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said: “CCS will play a critical role in energy transition, cutting safely emissions from industries that currently don’t have the technology to do so another way.”

“The heads of terms outline a regulated model that can help the CCS industry achieve scale and provide the certainty needed for private sector investment.”

Eni said the HyNet North West project will contribute to the UK’s aim to store 20–30 million tonnes of CO₂ annually by 2030.

Furthermore, Eni is planning a second CCS hub in the UK to decarbonise the Bacton Energy Hub and the Thames Estuary region.