In 2014, the research programme called CATO-2 came to an end. CATO is the acronym for ‘CO2 Afvang, Transport en Opslag', which is better known in English as CCS: Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage. These acronyms represent a number of technologies that collaborate to extract the greenhouse gas CO2 from industrial processes and power generation and prevent their emissioninto the global atmosphere. When CATO-2 followed up on the CATO-1 programme in 2009, many lessons had already been learned andremaining barriers on the pathway to implementation of CCS had become better visible. CATO-2 started with formulating these barriers and focusing research questions on these barriers. The ultimate goals: linking the chain, improving the insight in economics, scaling up technology and reducing costs, and increasing the knowledge on public perception. Some other benefits in science and capacity building were also foreseen.

The start of CATO-2

The CATO-2 programme is the successor of CATO-1 the first national Programme on CO2 Capture, Transport and Storage, that was executed between 2004 and 2009. In CATO-1, 17 participating parties from industry, research institutes, universities and NGOs had established a knowledge platform, providing a leading position of the Dutch programme in the international community. CATO2 was expected to underpin Dutch participation in international research communities, such as the European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Power plants (ETP-ZEP). Moreover, CATO-2 was expected to provide the basis for realising two large-scale CCS demonstrations in the Netherlands by 2015 - as was the goal formulated back in 2009. In hindsight, the conditions for establishing the CATO-2 programme were quite favourable. First, the preceding CATO-1 programme already established a CCS network and developed some essential skills for further implementing of CCS in the Netherlands. Major industrial parties in the Netherlands were already engaged or were preparing to engage in pilots and in two integrated largescale demonstration projects. This created a clear technology demand from industry. Furthermore, the intergovernmental project organisation on CCS, established in 2007, was highly supportive as a policy makers' counterpart of the scientific and business community. Besides confirmation of the continued support from existing consortia members, CATO-2 also gained support from new members, especially in the power sector (that was formerly represented by its common research institute KEMA, now DNV-GL) and in industry. Like in CATO-1, partners were allowed to participate with in-kind or cash contributions; both investments counted as eligible cost and were to be doubled by the government, to a maximum budget of € 61 million in total for the years up to 2014. This resulted in CATO-2 participation by around 40 existing and new parties. These partners all signed a Letter of Interest, indicating their budgets. Initially partners even offered co-funding of up to approximately € 47 million, but that amount was reduced along the way to just above € 30 million. Basically, this broad support still existed at the end of CATO-2, making the case for a continuation.

Drafting the CATO-2 programme

A conference in May 28th 2009 established the initial CATO-2 research agenda, as prepared by the Work Package leaders of the original CATO-1 Program. One of the main messages was the desire by industry and government partners to organise the agenda around three regions Rijnmond, North Netherlands and IJmond (around the TATA/Corus steel factory) and their twelve candidate-locations for CCS, rather than around thematic lines. Regions and locations became leading in designing the programme and its governance structure. Regional meetings were held to discuss the development of an integrated CCS research agenda for each region, in preparation of a regional blueprint for large-scale demonstrations. A programme matrix was designed on this basis.

The challenges per theme

The overall challenges of CATO-2 were to get a better impression of the whole CCS chain and its economics and to further reduce costs. For reaching the demonstration phase, upscaling of processes needed to be proven. Integration of different CCS elements had to be tested, as well as the performance of the whole system. Cost estimates needed to improve, regulation needed to be understood and tested.

CATO-2 book: Linking the Chain


The book "Linking the Chain" gives a summary of the results of the CATO-2 programme. The book can be downloaded here. The doctoral theses of the CATO-2 PhD students are also made available as PDF-files and can be found here.