Europe’s first large-scale direct air capture facility of its kind to be created in north-east Scotland

Plans to build Europe’s first large-scale direct air capture (DAC) facility of its kind in north-east Scotland have been unveiled by Storegga and Carbon Engineering (CE).

Europe's first large-scale direct air capture facility of its kind to be created in north-east Scotland

The proposed facility will permanently remove between 500,000 and one million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year to help achieve critical net zero targets while creating local jobs, the companies said.

Following a successful feasibility study in the first half of 2021, Storegga and CE have commenced preliminary engineering and design of the proposed facility, also known as Pre-Front End Engineering and Design (Pre-FEED). This work will focus on engineering design, further developing costs, and economic modelling of a DAC plant in north-east Scotland.

A shortlist of potential sites has been identified with the final preferred site to be selected as part of this work. The project will complete in Q1 2022, with detailed engineering expected to follow in Q2 2022.

Scotland is said to offer 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.

Scotland also offers significant offshore storage sites where the captured atmospheric carbon dioxide can be safely and permanently stored deep below the seabed.

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.”

Steve Oldham, CEO of CE, said: “In recent years we’ve observed a growing recognition of the need for large-scale removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 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 megaton 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.”

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