Poised To Lead: Middle East May Accelerate Global Carbon Capture

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  • Saudi Arabia, UAE already at 10% of global capture
  • CCS capacity about 40 mil mt/year
  • Mitsubishi Power is major power plant developer in Middle East

The Middle East could become the world’s leading region to capture carbon dioxide for future use in enhanced oil recovery or for storage, with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) forecasting the market in the region at 50 million mt/year in a decade, led by steps now being taken by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, along with an unusual project now starting in Bahrain, reports Platts.

MHI technology to capture carbon dioxide from flue gas

MHI is working with Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) to capture CO2 from its aluminum smelter and also signed an agreement in January to conduct a feasibility study on the first use of MHI technology to capture carbon dioxide from flue gas from an Alba power plant.

Both projects could ultimately capture 500,000 to 1 million mt/year of carbon sometime in the 2030s, Emmanouil Kakaras, head of the energy transition business in Europe and the Middle East for MHI, said in an interview with S&P Global Commodity Insights.

He noted that an average power station running on coal can have 12% to 15% CO2 in the flue gas, making it “relatively easy” to capture the carbon, while a gas-powered plant can have 4% to 5% while an aluminum smelter can have 0.9% to 1%, he said.

UAE & Saudi accounted for 10% of global annual capture in 2020

MHI’s forecast for 50 million mt/year in a decade compares with a global 80 million mt/year for 2030 estimated by S&P Global Platts Analytics and the International Energy Agency’s view based on stated policies for 89 million mt/year in 2030. “Our 80 million is based on commercially viable announced projects across various end use sectors ranging from EOR to oil refining to power generation and does not include significant levels of speculative CCUS capacity,” Mark Mozur, manager of future energy outlooks for Platts Analytics, said.

The Global CCS Institute says the UAE and Saudi Arabia already accounted for 10% of global annual capture in 2020, at 3.7 million mt/year, and forecasts the Gulf Cooperation Council states could alone have a total of 60 million mt/year by 2035.

We are in the beginning of this journey in the region, but the region is taking bold steps,” Kakaras said. “I am confident this region will become one of the major CO2 hubs. Being an oil and gas region, it’s a natural evolution. On the storage side, it’s picking up speed. There will be worldwide CO2 hubs able to receive CO2 and store it.”

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Source: Platts

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