Occidental’s large-scale direct air capture plant is making a new milestone. Occidental and its subsidiary 1PointFive announced on August 25th that they plan to begin detailed engineering and early site construction for their first direct air capture (DAC) plant in Ector County, Texas.
The plant will be built close to Oxy’s portfolio of acreage and infrastructure that are conducive to safe and secure storage of carbon dioxide. According to the company, the DAC facility will be able to capture 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year with the capability to scale up to 1 million metric tons per year.
Occidental also states that the captured CO2 emissions could either be stored permanently underground or used for the making of low-carbon diesel, jet fuel, or other useful products.
The first stage of construction, which includes site preparation and road work, is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2022. Commissioning of the plant is expected in late 2024. It will play an important step for Occidental to accelerate its carbon management business and curb emissions. The DAC plant would also be one of the world’s largest of its kind.
“Construction of this transformative facility begins our journey toward providing commercial-scale DAC solutions that reduce and remove carbon emissions… This plant’s development is rooted in our carbon management expertise, strong record of delivering major projects and existing infrastructure that supports the commercialization of carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies,” said Richard Jackson, President, U.S. Onshore Resources and Carbon Management Operations at Oxy.
The company announced back in March this year that it plans to invest in three carbon sequestration hubs that will be online by 2025 and 70 direct air capture facilities by 2035. These ambitious plans are part of its corporate strategy to lead the energy transition and turn into carbon management rather than an oil and gas development business.
1PointFive also announced on March 17th a landmark deal with Airbus for the purchase of 400,000 tons of direct air capture (DAC) carbon credits, coming from the facility. The agreement involves a pre-purchase of the capture and permanent sequestration of 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year over the course of four years.
It has advanced other carbon removal credit purchases from Shopify and ThermoFisher. In March 2022, the company struck an offtake agreement with SK Trading International for the purchase of net-zero oil. According to the deal, SK Trading International may purchase up to 200,000 barrels of net-zero oil per year for five years to develop net-zero products like aviation fuel. The oil will be created by Occidental using captured CO2 from the direct air capture facility.
Occidental is partnering with carbon capture developer Carbon Engineering for the construction of the plant. According to CEO of Carbon Engineering, Daniel Friedmann, the construction of this first, large-scale facility is helping the company see its vision to deliver net zero solutions becoming a reality.
The DAC plant will be using zero-emission solar power from Origis Energy. The project will also employ more than 1,000 people during the construction phase and up to 75 once operational. Government financial support is also creating incentives for DAC projects like this one to speed up their deployment as a global solution that can help achieve a net zero economy.