Carbon Capture, and Its Importance on the Pathway to Net Zero

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Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) capacity must increase more than 100-fold by 2050 to achieve the expected net-zero admissions. This equates to capturing approximately 650 million tons of carbon annually, as stated by the Global CCS Institute, or in the eyes of the International Energy Agency (IEA), 1.6 billion tons per year by 2030. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.7%, reaching $8.6 billion, with Asia-Pacific being the fastest-growing region.

Carbon capture is a critical technology and influencer of the global 2030 emission reduction plan through the separation, capture, transportation, and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). The CCUS global efforts and associated investments have simply not been met to date. The coming decade is decisive in realizing carbon capture’s significant potential in the contribution towards attaining net-zero emissions.

Globally there are over 190 facilities in the project pipeline. Asia-Pacific, the fastest-growing market, has announced and planned a diverse set of over 15 projects for completion by 2026 in China, Japan, South Korea, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Currently, these projects range from feasibility to construction stages across Refinery, Cement, Field, Hydrogen, Power, Natural Gas Processing, and Fertilizers industries.

Each of these facilities is planning feasibilities using a different set of techniques such as Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Carbon Capture, Dedicated Geo Storage, and Industrial Feedstocks. The largest capture capacity is planned for a Malaysian Field Industrial Feedstock facility of approximately 3.7 million of tons per annum (mtpa) with the start year of 2025, currently in the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) stage.

Carbon capture is increasingly becoming more commercial and competitive. Strategic partnerships have heightened deployment collaboration and demonstrated key reusability learnings. Together with key growth drivers like carbon neutrality government initiatives and the rising demand for CO2-EOR techniques, these should help to improve identifying and development of the much-needed on- and offshore CO2 storage resources.

Is it possible to attain the ultimate goal of capturing 100% of carbon emissions? CCUS is, after all, the technology to help realize carbon neutrality by building zero-emission, more resilient energy and industry systems while providing negative emission potential. To secure the necessary future investments and enable international finance, it is necessary to establish the legal and regulatory best practice compliance frameworks.

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Rajat K.