UK-based Storegga has begun work together with Canada's Carbon Engineering on a facility in Scotland that will be able to permanently remove 500,000-1 million mt/year of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the companies said June 24.
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The proposed facility will be the first large-scale facility of its kind in Europe and the partners are aiming for it to be operational by 2026.
"Once complete, it will be a model for how this clean infrastructure can be deployed across the continent to help achieve critical net-zero targets," the companies said in a joint statement.
Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, when combined with secure geological storage, delivers the permanent and verifiable removal of CO2 from the air, reversing the emissions process.
For sectors of the economy that are currently challenging to decarbonize directly -- such as aviation, shipping, and oil and gas -- this form of greenhouse gas removal is a tool for addressing the carbon footprint of those sectors.
Following a successful feasibility study in the first half of 2021, Storegga and Carbon Engineering have now started preliminary engineering and design of the proposed facility.
"This work will focus on engineering design, further developing costs, and economic modelling of a DAC plant in northeast Scotland," the partners said.
"A shortlist of potential sites has been identified with the final preferred site to be selected as part of this work," it said, adding that detailed engineering is expected to follow in Q2 2022.
DAC facilities can be located almost anywhere in the world, but the optimal location is next to appropriate CO2 storage sites, the companies said.
Locations being considered by the partnership for this facility are in proximity to the Acorn CCS project, which Storegga is developing together with Shell and Harbour Energy.
Acorn -- with the potential to be storing at least 5 million mt/year of CO2 by 2030 -- is one of the UK's most advanced CCS projects and could ultimately store up to 20 million mt/year of CO2.
Storegga and Carbon Engineering said Scotland offered numerous other advantages for the deployment of DAC projects, including abundant renewable energy sources to power the technology, existing infrastructure that can be redeployed, and a skilled workforce from the North Sea oil and gas industry.
"The development of a DAC facility in the UK will put our country on the map as being at the forefront of net negative technologies and the technology will enable hard to abate sectors create plans to reach net zero emissions," Storegga CEO Nick Cooper said.