Petrofac News 1700X397
24 May 2021

Petrofac to support Direct Air Capture project funded under Government plans to make UK world leader in Greenhouse Gas Removals

  • Funding awarded to Storegga’s Dreamcatcher Project under the BEIS programme - Direct Air Capture and Greenhouse Gas Removal Technology Innovation Programme Award
  • Under a collaborative partnership, Petrofac will undertake all Project Management and Engineering for the project which is a key next step towards deployment of UK’s first large-scale facility that removes carbon dioxide directly from the air

Storegga, through its wholly owned subsidiary Pale Blue Dot Energy, is pleased to announce it has been awarded a £249,000 grant by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (“BEIS”) for a development project in Direct Air Capture (“DAC”) – a technology that captures carbon dioxide (“CO2”) directly out of the atmosphere. In partnership with leading DAC provider Carbon Engineering (“CE”), Petrofac, Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities and Virgin Group, Storegga’s Dreamcatcher Project is a key next step towards the partners’ ambitions to deploy UK’s first large-scale DAC with Storage (“DACS”) facility.

These types of greenhouse gas removal projects will create and sustain tens of thousands of green UK jobs and businesses and can help accelerate Scottish and UK efforts to reach net zero emissions by compensating for sectors of the economy that are challenging to decarbonise directly.

From a pilot facility in British Columbia, Canada, CE developed and demonstrated its DAC technology and has been capturing CO2 from the atmosphere since 2015. CE is now deploying the technology at large-scale in the United States. The development funded by this grant will focus on optimisation and UK deployment of this proven solution. Specifically, the partnership will utilise the funds to research and develop new, ultra-low-carbon energy sources to power the DAC technology. They will also collaborate on the identification and development of a UK supply chain and roadmap to deploy DAC technology in the UK at a cost of potentially less than £200 per tonne of CO2 in the 2020s.

Project Dreamcatcher is a key step towards Storegga and CE’s ambitions to build a large-scale DAC plant in the UK within the next five years. The proposed large-scale DAC facility will capture between 500,000 and one million tonnes of atmospheric CO2 each year and then safely and permanently store it deep below the seabed in an offshore geological storage site. One of the locations being considered by the partnership for this facility is in North East Scotland, with access to the Acorn CCS and Hydrogen Project (“Acorn”).

Acorn is one of the most mature UK CCS and hydrogen projects and is positioned to be the most cost-effective and scalable CCS project in the UK. The Acorn project is currently in the detailed engineering and design phase of development and is planned to be operational by the mid 2020’s. DAC, CCS and hydrogen technologies are complementary solutions that provide key tools for the UK to meet its net zero targets.

DAC technology, when combined with secure geological CO2 storage, delivers the permanent and verifiable removal of CO2 from the air. This form of greenhouse gas removal has the ability to play a key role in the rapid decarbonisation of high-emitting, difficult-to-decarbonise industrial sectors, such as aviation, shipping, agriculture, and oil and gas. It also provides a reliable way to remove CO2 emissions from the past, making it a tool to support not only net zero targets, but also ambitions to achieve net negative emissions and full climate restoration. DAC technology is highly scalable, cost-competitive and can eliminate any CO2 emission at a known cost. This flexibility will be critical as the UK seeks to achieve carbon neutrality while continuing to protect and grow the economy.

Nick Cooper, CEO Storegga, said: “We are pleased to have been awarded funding under the Direct Air Capture and Greenhouse Gas Removal Technology Innovation Programme Award which will enable Storegga and our project partners to advance the development of the UK, and Europe’s first large scale DAC facility.

“The world needs to remove large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere to meet the Paris Goals. DAC is a profoundly important tool for this: offering permanent, verifiable carbon removal for both current emitters and for legacy CO2 emissions.”

Jonathan Carpenter, VP New Energy Services, Petrofac said: “The UK’s 2050 Net Zero goal is contingent on the energy sector’s ability to develop and economically scale a series of complementary solutions including DAC, CCUS and hydrogen. As Petrofac continues to play its part in helping the world meet its evolving energy needs, we are delighted to be deploying our project management and engineering expertise in support of this critical project.”

Amy Ruddock, VP Europe Carbon Engineering, said: “At Carbon Engineering, we’ve spent the past decade developing a highly scalable and affordable Direct Air Capture solution so it can play a mainstream role in addressing climate change. As the UK, and nations around the world, create plans to reach net zero emissions, DAC is a feasible, available, and affordable tool that can be added to the net zero toolkit. It is a tool that has the potential to realise significant greenhouse gas reductions while creating thousands of local jobs and businesses. We’re pleased to see the UK Government investing in this critical solution and are grateful for this support from BEIS as we work with our partner, Storegga, to deploy DAC in the UK.”