MENA’s first CCUS project now operational

The first commercial-scale carbon capture, utilisation and storage facility in the Middle East and North Africa is now operational.

The project aims to sequester up to 800,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

It has been developed by Abu Dhabi carbon capture company Al Reyadah, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and clean energy company Masdar.

The facility harnesses the CO₂ emitted by major Abu Dhabi steel producer Emirates Steel Industries and injects it as a substitute for rich gas into the emirate’s oil reservoirs to help enhance their output.

Construction started in July 2013 and the project is one of only 22 large-scale CCUS ventures, either in operation or under construction worldwide, and is believed to be the first to capture CO₂ from an iron and steel works.

Masdar chairman Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “Al Reyadah is a prime example of how clean technology can be integrated with traditional energy to create efficiency and optimise resources.

“This project will allow for the more productive use of a valuable commodity, natural gas, whether for power generation, or as petrochemicals feedstock, or for export,” he added. “It also unlocks another potential revenue stream in the industrial sector, encouraging the wider application of commercially viable CCUS technologies globally.”

Al Reyadah, which means ‘leadership’ in Arabic, is the first company in the MENA region focused on developing commercial-scale CCUS projects.

The technology works in three stages. Carbon dioxide is first captured on site at the Emirates Steel manufacturing complex before being compressed and dehydrated. The third step involves conveying the CO2 via a 43-kilometre underground pipeline for enhanced oil recovery injection into two ADNOC onshore oilfields.

Related feature: Carbon capture and utilization: Putting the 'U' in CCUS

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