Carbon removal technology company Storegga has signed commercial flight giant Virgin Atlantic to become a customer for its proposed large scale UK Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two companies and will see Virgin Atlantic purchasing the permanent and verifiable removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere through Storegga’s facility.

This signing will provide Virgin Atlantic with an effective way to offset its carbon footprint in addition to putting the spotlight on DAC technology combined with geological storage (DACCS – Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage), furthering its commercial interest.

Commenting on the deal, Nick Cooper, CEO, Storegga, said, “We are really pleased to welcome Virgin Atlantic as an early DAC customer.”

He also emphasised the importance of offsetting carbon emissions, stating, “Technical offsetting with DAC is urgently needed at scale to sit alongside nature-based offsetting. Last week’s IPCC report is an alarm call to all of us. The quicker we wake up to this, the better our chances of reaching net zero.”

Artist's rendering of the large-scale DAC plants.

Artist’s rendering of the large-scale DAC plants.

Source: Storegga Geotechnologies

The facility in question will be designed by Storegga, along with its partner Carbon Engineering, a leading DAC provider and developer of the technology.  Based in North-East Scotland, it will aim to remove one million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year.

Claiming that innovation and sustainability leadership is firmly in the company’s DNA, Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic, said, “We’re excited to be the first in the aviation industry to partner with Storegga to progress the development of Direct Air Capture solutions in the UK.”

“Reducing Virgin Atlantic’s carbon footprint is our number one climate action priority and the removal of CO2 directly from the atmosphere has the potential to become a powerful tool in reaching our target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

In addition to reaching net zero targets by removing carbon from the atmosphere, DAC allows for the removal of historic emissions, potentially permitting companies to achieve negative emissions and climate restoration.

DAC technology is also highly scalable and is considered more capable than nature-based solutions of meeting the ever-increasing demand for permanent CO2 removal.

As the first large-scale DAC facility of its kind in Europe, it is due to begin first operations in 2026.