International think tank the Global CCS Institute has added 10 carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities to its global database, bringing the total number of CCS facilities in various stages of development to 59.

There are now 21 facilities in operation, three under construction, and 35 in various stages of development, with a capture capacity of more than 127 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

“Our recent CO2RE Database update shows that despite the current Covid-19 crisis we are observing a significant increase in CCS facilities in the pipeline which demonstrates continued progress towards meeting climate targets, and will also result in significant job creation and economic growth,” said Global CCS Institute CEO Brad Page.

In a recent flagship report on the value of CCS, the Global CCS Institute found that CCS deployment in line with the Paris Agreement and energy-related Sustainable Development Goals could create some 100,000 jobs in the industry by 2050.

The facilities added continue trends in CCS deployment that include innovative applications such as natural gas power, negative emissions and cement, as well as stacked and offshore geologic storage. Fuelled by targeted incentives and sustained government support the US adds nine facilities, while the UK adds one facility.

“We are thrilled to see the diversity of CCS applications. The average capture capacity of the new facilities is 2.6 mtpa, as opposed to 2 mtpa for those already in the pipeline, indicating that new facilities are aiming for economies of scale, and strengthening CCS’ role in large-scale emissions abatement. Nonetheless, with 21 facilities operating today, we still need at least a 100-fold scale-up to reach climate goals,” added Page.

In the UK, the Drax bioenergy with CCS project aims to capture 4 mtpa from one of the existing biomass-fired power units by 2027, before converting all of its remaining biomass units to bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) by 2035. The carbon dioxide (CO2) will be transported by pipeline and stored in the southern North Sea via dedicated geological storage. The project will be an anchor for the wider Zero Carbon Humber Cluster.

The US continues to add a large number of facilities mainly as the result of the 45Q tax credit, and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard CCS Protocol. For example, the combined incentives contribute to the economic viability of both California Resources Corporation’s (CRC) CalCapture Project, and Velocys’ and Oxy Low Carbon Ventures’ Bayou Fuels Negative Emission Project. Multiple projects were also awarded US Department of Energy (DOE) front-end-engineering-design (FEED) study grants, or part of CarbonSAFE, seeking to establish large-scale storage of 50 mtpa and more. The Zeros Project in Texas, in an important development for the CCS facilities pipeline, has also completed its FEED and entered pre-construction.

“This is an important time for CCS in the US,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “Policy incentives and research from DOE projects are working together to help industry move forward towards the goal of net-zero carbon emissions.”

While the US does not currently have any natural gas plants equipped with CCS, the database update includes three gas plant projects: Mustang Station in Texas, Plant Daniel in Mississippi and CRC’s CalCapture facility in California. This brings the total natural gas-fuelled power plants with CCS under development globally in the database to six.

“The CalCapture project offers multiple benefits including substantial emissions reductions, prolific positive economic impacts across the California economy, and development of a key technology needed worldwide to meet future energy transition targets. The FEED for the Cal Capture project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, which would position the project for permitting, construction and commissioning by mid-decade,” said Shawn Kerns, CRC Executive Vice-President of Operations and Engineering.

Moreover, two projects, the San Juan Generating Station and CRC’s CalCapture facility, are also evaluating plans for stacked storage, using both geologic storage with enhanced oil recovery, as well as dedicated storage in saline formations.

Oxy Low Carbon Ventures (LCV) has teamed up with LaFarge Holcim and Total to evaluate the capture of CO2 from a cement plant in Colorado, and Oxy LCV also intends to store CO2 from Velocys’ biofuel production, delivering negative emissions.

The facilities update comes on the heels of continued momentum for CCS, including the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line becoming fully operational, a positive investment decision by Equinor, Shell, and Total for the Northern Lights project, supportive policy momentum in Australia, and a $131m funding announcement by the US Department of Energy.