WATCH: The UK’s first large scale direct air capture (DAC) facility, which will remove up to one million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air annually is “just the start.”

That’s according to Amy Ruddock, Vice President of Europe at Carbon Engineering, the company behind the project.

Carbon Engineering have collaborated with Storegga, a UK-based carbon management company and also the lead developer of the Acorn carbon capture and storage CCS project which provide the UK essential infrastructure to meet its net zero target.

The plant is currently in its Pre-FEED stage but aims to be complete by 2026.

Ruddock said, “I think it’s a great milestone for the UK – the first direct air capture plant in the UK, which enables us to start building that knowledge and building those local supply chains.”

“But also when you look globally, it’s one of the first megaton scale projects out there in direct air capture in the world.”

“This project in the UK means that there is this leadership opportunity for the UK”

Alan James, Executive Director at Storegga, describes the development as one that “makes a climate positive benefit”

On carbon capture technology, James said, “If you read some of the reports from the Climate Change Committee, the view is that DAC technology will be used extensively for the next 100 years or more.”

“There’s going to be more plants across the country and around the world to try to achieve that.”

“If you if you imagine an unrealistic world where the production of fossil fuels will stop tomorrow morning at half past eight, we’d still need a mechanism to take carbon dioxide out of the air to go from where we are now, at 440 parts per million back down to pre-industrial levels to remove the damage that we’ve already done and stabilise the climate position.”

The plant will be located in Scotland, which both companies believe will offer range of infrastructural benefits.

On why they chose Scotland, James said, “We have pipelines already in the water that were once used for moving natural gas are no longer required for moving natural gas.”

“So we have an opportunity to repurpose them. And one of the ways of repurposing them is to use them to move carbon dioxide so that can be stored safely underground rather than getting into the atmosphere and causing climate warming.”

“We will build a plant very close to the transport and storage infrastructure. So it’s not burdened with any additional costs of survival and long distance transport.”