Works are progressing at the UK’s largest direct air capture (DAC) facility, set to permanently remove between 500,000 and one million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere annually.

Carbon Engineering and Storegga on Wednesday (June 23) announced the news, following a successful feasibility study that was completed earlier this year. Now complete, the duo has commended preliminary engineering and design (Pre-FEED) of the proposed facility.

Now at the Pre-FEED stage, works will focus on engineering design, further developing costs, and economic modelling of a DAC plant in North-East Scotland – the new home of the DAC plant.

Commenting on the milestone, Nick Cooper, CEO of Storegga, said, “We are pleased to announce the beginning of the Pre-FEED study for our proposed large-scale DAC facility in North-East Scotland.”

“This announcement follows our recent funding from the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under the Direct Air Capture and Greenhouse Gas Removal Technology Innovation Programme Award.”

“DAC technology is critical to remove large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere in order to meet our climate goals. 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.”

Whilst DAC facilities can be located almost anywhere in the world, when the captured carbon dioxide is being permanently stored underground, the optimal location is directly adjacent to appropriate geological storage sites.

Scotland offers numerous 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 that have the skills needed to develop and operate DAC plants.

“In recent years we’ve observed a growing recognition of the need for large-scale removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” said Steve Oldham, CEO of Carbon Engineering. “At Carbon Engineering, we’ve spent the last decade optimising a highly scalable and affordable solution for removing carbon from the air and now our focus is on global deployment to help meet the climate challenge.

“Our first one megatonne DAC facility is underway in the US, and we’re thrilled to be working with Storegga to develop a large-scale facility in the UK – the first of its kind and size in Europe. These facilities will demonstrate that large-scale DAC technology is a feasible, affordable and available tool that is ready to help bring global emissions down to net zero, and eventually net negative.”