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September 2023 Carbon Capture Update: New CCUS Projects Announced for Middle East & Africa

Though home to more than 4 Mt/y of operational CCUS capacity, the Middle East & Africa have seen few new project announcements in recent years. However, so far in 2023, this region has seen greater growth in project announcements than any other global region. Using adapted insights from BTU Analytics’ new Carbon Capture Executive Summary, this month’s CCUS Update gives special attention to recent trends emerging in the Middle East & Africa.

September 2023 – Major CCUS Updates:

  • ENEOS Subsidiary JX Nippon announced that the Petra Nova CCS project had re-commenced operations for the first time since 2020. Petra Nova is the largest power-sector carbon capture installation to ever be commissioned.
  • CF Industries and POSCO Holdings announced a potential joint venture to develop a $2 billion blue ammonia facility in Louisiana. CF has previously undertaken a similar project with Mitsui at the same site, with both projects now in FEED.
  • Climeworks and Great Carbon Valley announced a partnership to develop direct air capture (DAC) in Kenya, with the goal of establishing a 1 Mtpa facility as soon as 2028. This is the second DAC facility to be recently announced for Kenya, with Octavia Carbon already developing a much smaller plant. Both efforts intend to utilize Kenya’s abundant geothermal resources.
  • Via media reports, Holcim disclosed new details of a CCUS project at an Alberta cement plant, revealing the project is completing pre-FEED and capacity is expected to be 1 Mtpa.

Spotlight: Projects in the Middle East & Africa are Growing, but in only a Handful of Sectors

So far in 2023, the Middle East & Africa have seen larger year-over-year growth in project announcements than any other region. Just in September, as shown in the table above, the region saw the announcement of its first megaton-scale DAC project in Kenya and a 4.3 Mt expansion of carbon capture capacity at QatarEnergy’s Ras Laffan LNG complex. In the United Arab Emirates, ADNOC reached FID on a 1.5 Mt CCUS project at a natural gas processing plant.

Oil- and gas-producing basins in the Middle East and North Africa have historically been home to a number of CCUS projects. However, few notable new projects were proposed during 2021 and 2022, even as developer interest exploded in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. As the timeline below shows, this trend may have begun to change in 2023, as a smattering of major projects have been announced for the Middle East & Africa. Comparatively, the pace of new project announcements appears to actually be cooling in other regions during 2H23.  

Historical CCUS in the region has been largely co-located with natural gas processing plants. However, as seen above, recent CCUS announcements have focused more on LNG, blue hydrogen, and blue ammonia. QatarEnergy already operates CCUS installations attached to several of its LNG terminal trains. While details are sparse, the recently announced expansion of CCUS capacity at Ras Laffan and the inclusion of CCUS at the North Field East greenfield development implies that QatarEnergy could see some degree of CCUS deployed on virtually its entire LNG liquefaction fleet. Sipchem in Saudi Arabia and other operators are considering the potential for blue hydrogen and blue ammonia to serve as an alternative, low-carbon method of exporting the region’s energy. It is no surprise that these energy-export sectors have drawn the most attention in an energy-exporting region, while other sectors, like power and industry, have seen little attention in the Middle East & Africa compared to North America or Europe.

This analysis is adapted from features found in BTU Analytics’ new Carbon Capture Executive Summary, published monthly via the FactSet Workstation. This report features highlighted data and analysis on a range of CCUS factors, including geography, technology, and economics. For deeper analysis, the companion Carbon Capture Database provides detailed project-level data on over 500 global CCUS projects. Both products are available to FactSet Workstation subscribers. Email to request a sample or find out more about either product.

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Nick Jones is an Energy Transition Analyst for BTU Analytics, a FactSet Company. His research areas include carbon management and clean hydrogen industries.

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