Large scale Direct Air Capture plant in Norway
Updates and Q&A with Eirik Lilledahl, CEO of Carbon removal AS
What is the status of the Direct Air Capture (DAC) plant project in Kollsnes Norway
Our development of what may be Europe ́s biggest DAC plant is progressing well. The DAC plant will remove 500 000 tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere for permanent storage from year 2026. After completing the concept study phase, we are moving into the Preliminary Front End Engineering Design (Pre-FEED) phase. Before summer we started the detailed zoning plan process with the municipality, which is a crucial element of the planning phase.
What is the purpose of building DAC plants?
To restore a healthy climate balance, Direct Air Capture is a crucial tool for removing excess atmospheric carbon. The world urgently needs both radical emissions reduction and carbon removals, as stated by the IPCC, International Energy Agency and Science Based Targets initiative among others. Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is a necessity and insurance for the world to reach net zero in 2050. DAC is expected to play a key role in solving the challenge of residual emissions and “hard-to-abate” sectors. DAC also provides an essential tool to remove historical emissions.
What response has the DAC project received so far from environmental organizations?
The DAC plant at Øygarden has attracted the interest from several Norwegian environmental organizations, notably Bellona and ZERO. We believe that the response has been very positive. Carbon Removal AS was invited and participated as a speaker at a recent ZERO seminar on CO2 removal.
Where is the Direct Air Capture plant location?
The DAC plant site is located in the Øygarden municipality at an industrial park at Kollsnes.
The industrial park is operated by CCB Energy Holding and co-owned with the municipality of Øygarden. CCB and Carbon Removal AS cooperates on the development of a 12-hectare land area for the location. In conjunction with the Northern Lights carbon storage project, part of Longship, the Norwegian Government’s large-scale carbon capture and storage project, it is an ideal location for a DAC plant. Due to the co-location with the Northern Lights terminal, CO2 will not be transported long distances for storage and logistics will be very efficient.
How can local communities benefit from this DAC project?
The project will make large economic contributions locally including in the form of property tax to Øygarden municipality and land lease payments to the landowners. With the rapid growth of the Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) industry, DAC brings local job creation with pioneering opportunities in all aspects of the Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) value chain; from plant construction operations, marketing and innovation.
What are the risks (e.g.,environmental) that may be encountered in the project, and how would these risks be mitigated?
There will be some noise from the fans, and there is a visual impact from the plant itself. This is mitigated by the distance to any residential areas. Also, final plans will aim to reduce the visual impact of the plant by as much as possible. DAC with geological CO2 storage has several advantages as a CDR approach, including a relatively small land and water footprint, and high degree of certainty of both the permanence of the storage and the quantification of CO2 removed.
How will the project handle Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV)?
Existing standards and MRV methodology are being developed and improved upon for the purpose of DAC. Verra is an example of a leading organisation in the field. Verra working with a group of companies, including Northern Lights, Equinor, Carbon Engineering, Climatepartner in the CCS+ on this topic among others.
What are your comments on the novel regulatory landscape for DAC?
CDR and DAC are expected to play a key role in addition to emission reductions in the European Union’s plan to reach net-zero by 2050. As of 2030, the EU has announced its intentions to remove at least five megatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The need for robust policy frameworks can be seen in the Commission’s upcoming proposal on the Carbon Removal Certification Mechanism (CRCM). This represents a meaningful step toward integrating carbon removals into European climate policies. Also, Norwegian parliamentary politicians are increasingly talking about DAC as an important climate measure. This summer, the Parliament instructed the Government to review and identify how DAC could be made profitable, and the Environmental Directorate recently identified DAC as an important technology and indicated a potential of as much as 1 MT a year by 2030.
Have the project’s associated emission reductions been covered by the host country’s Nationally Determined Contribution, (NDCS) as defined in the Paris Climate Agreement?
DAC is currently not an active part of the NDCs but we expect that it will be going forward. The Nordic countries are known to support sustainability and have ambitious renewable targets aimed at reducing national emission targets, still, there will be a significant gap to reach these goals and CDR measures such as DAC will be needed.
How do you see the Voluntary Carbon Market develop coming years?
At least one-fifth of the world’s largest 2,000 public companies have committed to meeting net-zero targets by mid-century and many much sooner through various initiatives, according to the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders. For example, Science Based Targets initiative, a net-zero corporate standard set out to achieve alignment with the Paris Agreement goals of a net zero world 2050. Greenhouse gases GHG must be cut by half 2030. The problem is not on the need or demand side. Globally there is a dire shortage of high-quality permanent carbon removal projects, so more DAC plants needs to be deployed rapidly on a large scale.
About the DAC project
Together with Carbon Engineering and Oxy Low Carbon Ventures (OLCV), Carbon Removal AS, is developing a DAC project in Norway. The companies have completed conceptual design work on a Norwegian DAC facility capable of capturing between 500,000 and one million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year. Targeted for the Kollsnes area, the proposed DAC facility is being designed to deliver permanent carbon dioxide removal by capturing CO2 from the air and then safely and permanently storing it deep below the seabed in an offshore geological storage site. These types of carbon removal projects can help accelerate Norwegian efforts to reach net-zero emissions in a cost-efficient way, by compensating for sectors of the economy that are challenging to decarbonize directly, such as aviation and agriculture. More information can be found at carbonremoval.no.
About Nordic DAC Group AB
Nordic DAC Group AB, offers high-quality permanent carbon removal certificates, removing unavoidable, hard-to-reduce and historical CO2 emissions. The service contains advance purchases of DAC credits and participation in DAC projects accelerating companies’ race toward net-zero and beyond. Nordic DAC Group AB is a minority shareholder in Carbon removal AS. For more information: www.directaircapture.com