UAE’s ADNOC greenlights large-scale carbon capture project in Middle East

Energy and petrochemicals group ADNOC has announced a final investment decision (FID) to develop what will be one of the largest carbon capture projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Capable of capturing and storing 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of carbon dioxide (CO2) within underground geological aquifers, the Habshan carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) project is part of ADNOC’s wider carbon management strategy.

According to ADNOC, it aims to create a platform that connects all the sources of emissions and sequestration sites to accelerate the delivery of ADNOC and the UAE’s decarbonisation goals.

This will include not only the Habshan project but also several other technology-driven pilot projects, including CO2 mineralisation and full carbon sequestration in saline aquifers.

To be built, operated and maintained by ADNOC Gas on behalf of ADNOC, the project will comprise of carbon capture units at the Habshan gas processing plant, pipeline infrastructure and a network of wells for CO2 injection – an initiative that will triple the organisation’s carbon capture capacity to 2.3mtpa.

Citing the call from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the need to use CCS to achieve Net Zero by mid-century, Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Executive Director of Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth at ADNOC, said, “This landmark project is one of many tangible initiatives that ADNOC is delivering as we accelerate our decarbonisation plan to meet our Net Zero by 2045 ambition.

In addition to setting out its Net Zero plan, the company plans to invest $15bn in developing low carbon solutions.

“As ADNOC continues its transformation towards a lower carbon future, it is our intention to make further investments to significantly reduce our emissions, including in CCS, and push the boundaries of innovation and technology with our partners, to build on our world-leading legacy and industry leadership in carbon management.”

The company established its first carbon capture, transportation and storage facility at Al Reyadah in Abu Dhabi. Equipped with the capacity to process up to 800,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, the project is reducing emissions from the steel industry at Emirates Steel Arkan.

ADNOC revealed that the new Habshan project could provide for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) of low carbon-intensity barrels in addition to the production of low-carbon feedstocks such as hydrogen.

MENA decarbonisation strategies ahead of COP28

The 28th edition of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) will open in Dubai, UAE, this November. Having received its share of criticism from climate activists ahead of the event, the country will provide more details on how it intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% on ‘business-as-usual’ levels by 2030, reaching 182m metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents (MtCO2e) divided between the five key emitting sectors.

According to the UAE’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), this is to be achieved by a broad range of measures including renewable and nuclear power, reverse osmosis desalination, improved efficiency, district cooling and demand-side management, CCS, hydrogen use in industry, fugitive methane cutting and others.

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