Up­date on CCS projects in the re­gion

Qatar Today - - COVER STORY -

In the GCC re­gion, all coun­tries have started the en­gage­ment in CCUS, with ma­jor ac­tiv­i­ties found in the UAE, the KSA, and Qatar. The UAE gov­ern­ment has iden­ti­fied CCS as a key com­po­nent of na­tional GHG mit­i­ga­tion plans in its na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tions to the UNFCCC. As the ma­jor oil-pro­duc­ing emirate of the coun­try, the Abu Dhabi gov­ern­ment is developing, through Mas­dar, a CCS net­work bring­ing CO₂ from emit­ters to the Abu Dhabi Na­tional Oil Com­pany (ADNOC) for en­hanced oil re­cov­ery (EOR). In ad­di­tion to the com­ple­tion of a two-year CO₂-EOR pi­lot project in Novem­ber 2011 at an on­shore field, Mas­dar an­nounced in early 2012 that it would pro­ceed to ten­der for a CCS project with Emi­rates Steel In­dus­tries (ESI), han­dling 800,000 tons of car­bon an­nu­ally and con­nect­ing an ESI fac­tory to an ADNOC oil field. Mas­dar also has a 60/40 joint ven­ture with Bri­tish Petroleum (BP) in developing Hy­dro­gen Power Abu Dhabi (HPAD), a com­mer­cial-scale hy­dro­gen-fu­elled power plant in­cor­po­rat­ing car­bon cap­ture and stor­age. The project was placed on hold in Jan­uary 2011 due to is­sues as­so­ci­ated with ne­go­ti­at­ing prices for the CO₂ and elec­tric­ity pro­duced at the hy­dro­gen plant with its two main cus­tomers: ADNOC and Abu Dhabi Wa­ter Elec­tric­ity Au­thor­ity (ADWEA). The Dubai In­te­grated En­ergy Strat­egy 2030 also calls for con­sid­er­a­tion of CCS-equipped coal power in the next ten years, and the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has an­nounced fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies for a CCS-equipped coal plant.

Saudi Ara­bia, as the lead­ing oil-pro­duc­ing coun­try in the world, can in­crease oil pro­duc­tion with­out the use of EOR. When needed, Saudi Aramco uses highly op­ti­mized and cost-ef­fec­tive wa­ter flood­ing op­er­a­tions for EOR. Nev­er­the­less, the coun­try is developing the world's largest CO₂ pu­rifi­ca­tion and liq­ue­fac­tion plant in Jubail. The plant will bring 1,500 met­ric tons per day of raw CO₂ com­ing from two eth­yl­ene gly­col plants to three SABIC-af­fil­i­ated com­pa­nies for en­hanced methanol and urea pro­duc­tion. The coun­try is in the process of developing sev­eral sim­i­lar CCS projects, in­clud­ing some pi­lot projects on CO₂ for EOR. The Qatar Fuel Ad­di­tives Com­pany will in­stall a CO₂ cap­ture plant in its methanol pro­duc­tion plant by 2014. Qatar Petroleum has a joint ven­ture with Shell and some aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions in estab­lish­ing the Qatar Car­bon­ates and Car­bon Stor­age Re­search Cen­tre (QCCSRC). Bahrain has a CCS project that cap­tures flue gases from an ex­ist­ing petro­chem­i­cal plant for urea and methanol pro­duc­tion. In 2010, Kuwait launched a car­bon project which will cap­ture more than 150,000 tons of CO₂ an­nu­ally from Equate, a large petro­chem­i­cals com­pany, for food and bev­er­age pro­duc­tion. The cur­rent CCUS en­gage­ment of Oman is pri­mar­ily fo­cused on re­search and de­vel­op­ment of fea­si­ble CCUS tech­nol­ogy. It can be noted that all cur­rent de­vel­op­ments in the GCC re­gion are ini­ti­ated by the pub­lic sec­tors, with ma­jor ef­fort fo­cus­ing on fea­si­bil­ity val­i­da­tion of var­i­ous stages of the CCUS value chain in the lo­cal con­text. De­spite the clear in­ter­est for CCUS in this re­gion, it is rec­og­nized that large-scale de­ploy­ment of CCUS can­not be re­al­ized with­out the es­tab­lish­ment of for­mal leg­is­la­tion and reg­u­la­tion.

( Cour­tesy: UN work­ing paper on ‘Strength­en­ing the le­gal and reg­u­la­tory frame­work in the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil coun­tries to pro­mote the de­ploy­ment of car­bon cap­ture, uti­liza­tion, and stor­age', by Dr I-Tsung Tsai, 2014)

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