UAE state-owned energy giant ADNOC has announced a partnership with 44.01, an Omani sustainability startup, in the implementation of a pilot project that seeks to permanently mineralize carbon dioxide (CO2) within rock formations found in the UAE Emirate of Fujairah. Pilot partners also include the Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation (FNRC) and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar). The partnership was announced on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) under way in the UAE capital.
The project, due to commence in January 2023, will use 44.01’s Earthshot prize-winning Carbon Capture and Mineralization (CCM) technology to eliminate CO2 from the atmosphere. It will be the first CCM project by an energy company in the Middle East.
Commenting on 44.01’s role in the venture, Talal Hasan, Founder and CEO, said: “Removing CO2 from the atmosphere is vital if we are to halt and ultimately reverse climate change. Unlike CO2 storage, mineralization removes CO2 permanently by turning it into rock, minimizing the need for long-term monitoring and insurance. This pilot will enable us to test our technology at scale, on our way to offering a safe, cost-effective, natural solution for eliminating captured CO2 internationally.”
Sophie Hildebrand, Chief Technology Officer at ADNOC, stated: “Across ADNOC we are committed to finding new ways to decarbonize our operations, while meeting our responsibility to supply vital energy to the world. As the first energy company in the region to run a carbon-negative project of this kind, this pilot marks the latest step in our $15 billion investment into projects that will reduce our carbon footprint and help us achieve our Net Zero by 2050 ambition.”
Fujairah has been selected for this pilot due to its abundance of peridotite, a form of rock that naturally reacts with CO2 to mineralize it. Eng Muhammad Saif al Afkham, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation, added: “We are proud to support ADNOC and our other partners to catalyze this natural process with 44.01’s technology. Success here could pave the way to help us make a significant contribution towards the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.”
In this pilot, CO2 will be captured from the air, dissolved in seawater, and then injected into peridotite formations deep underground, where it will mineralize – ensuring that it cannot escape back into the atmosphere.
The project will be powered by solar energy supplied by Masdar. A successful pilot would open the possibility of mineralizing billions of tons of captured CO2 across the region.