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UPDATE 2-Microsoft in deal with Equinor for Norway CO2 storage project

Wed, 14th Oct 2020 17:05

(Adds quotes, background)

By Nerijus Adomaitis

OSLO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp has signed
a memorandum of understanding with Norway's Equinor to
explore the use of a carbon dioxide storage facility as the tech
firm seeks to erase its carbon footprint, it said on Wednesday.

The world's largest software company pledged in January to
remove enough CO2 by 2050 to account for all its emissions since
its founding in 1975, and to invest $1 billion in a carbon
removal technology.

Microsoft will become a technology partner in the Northern
Lights project, part of a wider Norwegian effort to develop
carbon capture technology at industrial sites and store CO2
under the seabed, Equinor said at a news conference in Oslo.

"Our goal is not only to contribute our technology and
know-how, but explore how new solutions like the Northern Lights
project can help us meet our own carbon negative goals by 2030,"
Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a statement.

The Northern Lights project is a partnership with Shell
and Total.

The Norwegian government is expected to cover about 80% of
the 6.9 billion Norwegian crown ($751 million) cost of the CO2
deposit's first stage, which would be able to store 1.5 million
CO2 tonnes per year, Equinor has said.

"Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a proven technology and
has the potential to play a key role in decarbonising energy and
industries across sectors to meet international climate
targets," Equinor executive Irene Rummelhoff said.

Microsoft's Smith told the news conference it was important
to find new ways to pay for carbon to be removed and stored
permanently.

"That's why this new technology is of such critical
importance to a company like Microsoft," he said via video link.

"I believe we will be one of many companies... that would
want to purchase the services for carbon to be removed, to be
captured and to be stored," he said.
($1 = 9.1873 Norwegian crowns)
(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik,
Victoria Klesty, Kirsten Donovan)

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