Al Reyadah proves viable carbon capture programmes

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) operations like Al Reyadah, the joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Masdar, demonstrate that CCS is a commercially viable solution to limiting industrial CO2 emissions.

John Scowcroft (left), executive advisor, Europe, Middle East and Africa, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, and Arafat Al Yafei, CEO, Al Reyadah, at the World Future Energy Summit 2017 in Abu Dhabi.
John Scowcroft (left), executive advisor, Europe, Middle East and Africa, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, and Arafat Al Yafei, CEO, Al Reyadah, at the World Future Energy Summit 2017 in Abu Dhabi.

The world must recognise the increasingly important role ‘carbon capture and storage’ (CCS) can play in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), recently held in Abu Dhabi, has been told.

CCS operations like Al Reyadah, the joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Masdar, demonstrate that CCS is a commercially viable solution to limiting industrial CO2 emissions.

Al Reyadah is the world’s first commercial carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) facility for the steel industry. While previously Emirates Steel was the source of 1% of the UAE’s total CO2, now the carbon capture programme sequesters up to 800,000 tonnes of CO2 a year from the plant. The captured CO2 is injected into Abu Dhabi’s maturing oil fields, replacing natural gas, to enhance oil recovery, where it remains trapped underground.

Speaking at WFES, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week – the Middle East’s largest gathering on sustainability – Arafat Al Yafei, CEO of Al Reyadah, said: “Al Reyadah is proving carbon capture utilisation and storage is commercially viable and a win-win solution for industry and the environment. It is providing a launch-pad to take this technology to the next frontier and demonstrating these projects can thrive on synergies between different partners, in this case ADNOC, Masdar and Emirates Steel.”

“CCUS is a prime example of how state-of-the-art technology can be integrated with traditional energy to create efficiencies and optimise resources. Our objective is not only to satisfy ADNOC’s demand for CO2, in support of its enhanced oil recovery plans, but also to liberate valuable natural gas to meet rising demand,” added Al Yafei.

Juho Lipponen, head of the Carbon Capture Unit at the International Energy Agency, highlighted the progress made in the UAE saying: “Al Reyadah is paving the way for other industrial complexes – such as power, cement, fertilisers and natural gas processing – to capture and store CO2 emissions.”

“The ability of CCS to reduce emissions from fossil fuel used in power generation and industrial processes will be crucial to limiting future temperature increases to well below two degrees Celsius. The potential for CCS simply cannot be ignored in implementing the Paris Agreement on climate action,” added Lipponen.

John Scowcroft, executive advisor, Europe, Middle East and Africa, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, said: “As CO2 emissions from industrial sources continue to rise, it is patently obvious that CCS is the most realistic carbon mitigation alternative within reach of industrial processes.”

“When governments recognise the challenge of transforming industrial processes for a low-carbon economy, we will be much closer to reaching the almost 4,000 million tonnes per annum of CO2 that needs to be captured by 2040 to meet climate goals,” added Scowcroft.

Al Reyadah brings together ADNOC’s decades’ long experience and operational expertise with Masdar’s proven ability to innovate commercially viable and sustainable energy solutions and clean technologies. The project has converted what was previously an unwanted by-product of the industrial process into a valuable resource, enabling more productive use of natural gas, whether for power generation, or as petrochemicals’ feedstock, or for export.

The International Energy Agency believes that carbon capture and storage technologies have a key role to play in realising an ambitious, climate-friendly future energy scenario and are expected to account for one sixth of required emissions reductions by 2050.

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