Duo plans direct air capture project in Louisiana, USA

Gulf Coast Sequestration and Climeworks have signed an agreement to develop a direct air capture (DAC) project in Louisiana, USA, that aims to capture 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2030.

The project plans to expand its capacity to several million tons per year in the future.

Louisiana-based Gulf Coast Sequestration, which focuses on pore space for permanent geological storage of carbon dioxide, will use Climeworks’ DAC technology to capture and store the CO2 underground. Some environmentalists are hailing the technology as a potentially carbon-negative process because it pulls carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere rather than from an emitting source.

“Carbon capture and sequestration is a key component of today’s energy transition and provides an immediate path to rapid decarbonization,” said Gray Stream, president of Stream Companies, owners of Gulf Coast Sequestration.

“Direct Air Capture offers an inspiring opportunity to achieve net zero or even negative carbon emissions. Together, GCS and Climeworks are uniquely positioned to make this promise a reality in the Gulf Coast Industrial Corridor.”

Louisiana is emerging as a hotspot for developing carbon capture projects, with a focus on the region’s wide availability of pore space and high emissions. ExxonMobil, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and Denbury Resources are all exploring carbon capture opportunities in Louisiana, while Chevron and Talos are developing CCS projects along the Gulf Coast.

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“Louisiana is fast becoming a leader in the global energy transition, and carbon capture and sequestration is a critical part of our plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.

“This significant agreement between a pioneering Louisiana company and a global leader in direct air capture technology is another step forward in the diversification and growth of our economy.”

While many oil and gas companies are engaging in CCS, DAC specifically offers a unique opportunity to drive emissions reductions beyond energy operations. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), just 18 DAC projects bind about 10,000 tons of CO worldwide2.

Of these projects, only two permanently store carbon dioxide underground, while the others use it for food and other purposes. To achieve the IEA’s net-zero scenario, DAC would need to capture 60 million tonnes of CO22.

1PointFive, a subsidiary of Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, is working on a 1 Mtpa CCS project in the Permian Basin that will contribute to this goal, but upstream companies with expertise in pore space management can help advance the sector and DAC moving towards geological sequestration.