An important development is about to unleash more reliable direct air capture carbon dioxide removal credits available to the market.
Octavia Carbon – a direct air capture (DAC) company based in Kenya and Cella Mineral Storage – a carbon mineralization company turning CO2 into rock, has agreed to build a pilot DAC facility at CellaMineral’s storage plant located in Naivasha along the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.
“Our mission is to position Kenya as a climate change vanguard by making Octavia Carbon a leading force in reversing climate change and ending the fossil fuel age. Through this first-of-its-kind facility and planned extensions, we aim to work alongside partners Cella Mineral Storage and Puro.earth to lead the charge on developing African climate tech innovation,” said Martin Freimüller, Octavia Carbon Founder & CEO.
“Our storage facility in Kenya is amongst the largest of its kind that permanently removes CO2 through mineralization in basalts for negative emissions. We chose Kenya for its unique combination of geology and geothermal energy, which provides ideal conditions for DAC partners, and we’re thrilled to welcome Octavia, Kenya’s own DAC company, to our site,” said Corey Pattison, CEO of Cella.
The project called “Project Hummingbird” will have the capacity to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and store 1 kiloton or 1,000 tons of CO2 annually, thanks to the carbon mineralization technology provided by Cella.
The carbon capture and storage process is set to begin in October 2024, with plans to sell carbon credits certified by the leading carbon removal platform Puro.earth.
The plant will work under Puro.earth’s ICROA-endorsed Standard for Geologically Stored Carbon and will apply strict monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) criteria.
“This project will mark the beginning of a new industry for trusted carbon removals in Kenya. We are pleased to be involved in this landmark development, helping ensure that the Kenyan-engineered CO2 removal industry is built with integrity and credibility from the start. The voluntary carbon markets are gaining significant momentum globally, and we applaud Octavia Carbon pioneering the net zero transition through carbon removals in Africa and the Global South,” said Antti Vihavainen, CEO of Puro.earth.
The project is expected to start generating commercial carbon credits in October 2024, issued under the Puro Standard, which uses science-based laboratory testing and third-party auditing to verify the CO2 Removal Certificates (CORCs) for authenticity and long-term durability. Credits are now available for pre-purchase through carbon credit marketplace partner Cloverly, which will be delivered over the next 10 years.
Octavia Carbon is also expected to become the world’s first DAC company operating in an emerging market to be certified under an ICROA-endorsed methodology.
The DAC and storage facility under development will leverage Kenya’s abundant geothermal renewable energy that is currently still untapped. The country is the eighth-largest producer of geothermal energy in the world which constitutes almost 40% of its grid power.
The grid produces a surplus of clean power that could potentially run 20 large carbon removal facilities without any impact on the country’s energy needs. According to social entrepreneur James Mwangi, Co-founder of Africa Climate Ventures, the untapped geothermal power capacity in Kenya equals 10GW which is more than enough to provide the necessary renewable energy to power the growing direct air capture industry.
Direct air capture and permanent underground storage in a solid form is a growing fragment of the carbon removal industry that is about to revolutionize the space and help the world eliminate access CO2 emissions from the air. The partnerships between leading companies like Puro.earth, Cella, Octavia and Cloverly is an indication the industry is coming together to address critical challenges and thus make available carbon removals to the world.