Taking a break from everyday life with a bit of celebration is never a bad thing. And this is exactly what we at Stockholm Exergi did last Friday. That day our company signed our agreement with the EU entailing that their Innovation Fund will support our BECCS project with 180 million Euros. A very significant milestone for us and an event that is truly worthy of a festive ceremony.
We invited EU staff, local politicians and our owners to a lunch and guided tour of our biomass-powered CHP plant Värtaverket and arranged a signing ceremony of the EU agreements with the EU Commission and steel producer HYBRIT. The day consisted of many important meetings and conversations where my colleagues and I met, among others, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the EU Commission, Patrik Kolar, director of CINEA, and Christian Holzleitner, Director General of EU Climate Action. Everyone pointed out how important our project was to achieve climate goals and their engagement gave us an incredible will to succeed.
Taking the time to stop, indulge and celebrate completed stages, like what we did last Friday, is important to fill the project with positive energy. Today we continue our thorough and goal-oriented work to make the crucial investment decision to build a large-scale facility for BECCS. There are no shortcuts and the remaining journey to the finish line will be a tough one. We need to continue evaluating the project’s progress down to the last detail in order to keep costs down without compromising quality or efficiency, all while securing financing. We are not leaving anything to chance. The first financing component is EU support, state aid is the second and the third is a market for negative emissions, which isn’t in place yet but will play a significant role.
The EU’s recognition of the project is very significant for our financing and their positive words are a testament to the project’s quality. All of this plays a very important role for those who are considering purchasing negative emissions from Stockholm Exergi. The EU’s acknowledgment also sets high expectations for us – what we do is supposed to inspire others to start their own journeys. BECCS’ potential is large and will have an impact on climate goals in both Sweden and the rest of the world. All while we have the chance to create a new Swedish export industry.
The EU’s expectations certainly put pressure on us. But I like pressure, because it increases our motivation. We as a company need to muster our power to develop a business model that, over time, will help heat properties and buildings, secure stable sources of electricity and contribute to Sweden and Europe’s achievement of their climate goals.
I look forward to the day when we make our investment decision for the large-scale BECCS facility. This will also be a day for celebration. It will be an enormous challenge to obtain the financing required to make this decision and we need to monitor the world around us carefully. We are anxiously following and concerned about the war in Ukraine and its terrible consequences. The war will impact us more than what we can fully understand today and this includes the conditions for our project. But we are steadfast in working to reach our goal and when we do, we will take the time to stop and be proud of our work. Then we can hit the ground running again.