Investing in CO2 transport infrastructure under uncertainty: A comparison between ships and pipelines

M. M.J. Knoope*, A. Ramírez, A. P.C. Faaij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study is to assess whether the value of flexibility can influence the investment decision between CO2 ship and pipeline transport and, therefore, the way the infrastructure develops. For this, the value of a carbon capture and storage project are calculated with the standard net present value (NPV) and with the least-squares Monte Carlo method, which is a real option approach (ROA).Results of the NPV and ROA show that ships are preferred for small volumes over large distances. For instance, for a design capacity of 2.5Mt/y, pipelines are preferred for 250km and ships for 500km. The ROA shows that the option value to abandon the project and to switch off the CO2 capture unit temporarily are about 2-4 and 5 times as high for the ship compared to the pipeline configurations, respectively. The option to connect to another storage reservoir has a value of >1000M€ for the 10MtCO2/y configurations. Consequently, this option turns the project values positive for the 10MtCO2/y pipeline and shipping configurations over a distance of 250 and 500km.Overall, the value of flexibility did not change the preferred transportation mode from pipeline to ship transport, at least for the considered options to abandon the project, switch off the capture unit temporarily and switch to another storage reservoir. However, under the assumptions made, all 10MtCO2/y cases were not profitable with the NPV approach, while they were profitable with the ROA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-193
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • CO transport
  • Flexibility
  • Pipeline
  • Real option
  • Ship
  • Uncertainty


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