Octavia Carbon Is Harnessing Kenya’s Potential For Direct Air Capture

Octavia Carbon Is Harnessing Kenya's Potential For Direct Air Capture - Carbon Herald

In the latest episode of the Carbonsations podcast, we had the pleasure of speaking with Martin Freimuller, the visionary founder and CEO of Octavia Carbon, a direct air capture (DAC) company making waves in Kenya. 

Martin’s journey from a strategy consultant to becoming a pioneer in the carbon industry is a testament to the transformative power of innovation and the untapped potential of Africa in the fight against climate change.

His exposure to the carbon market and carbon removal technologies sparked a love affair with DAC, leading him to recognize Kenya as the prime location for the nascent technology due to its exceptional energy, geology, and talent.

The Allure of Direct Air Capture

Martin’s passion for technology and the scalability of DAC drew him to this particular carbon removal pathway. He believes that DAC’s modular nature allows for rapid cost reduction, making it a formidable tool in combating climate change within the next couple of decades.

Octavia Carbon’s humble beginnings on Martin’s kitchen table have blossomed into a 55-member team dedicated to developing DAC technology suited to Kenya’s unique resources. 

The company’s partnership with Cella, a mineral storage firm, is pivotal in their mission to inject CO2 underground, positioning Octavia to become a leading DAC company.

Why Kenya?

Kenya’s abundance of renewable energy, particularly geothermal, makes it an ideal location for DAC. 

The country’s renewable grid, rich geology for CO2 storage, and talented workforce create the perfect trifecta for cost-effective carbon removal. Martin’s vision is to leverage these assets to make Kenya a global DAC hub.

Relevant: Carbonfuture And Octavia Carbon To Deploy World’s First Digital MRV For DAC

The Kenyan government and local communities are showing great interest in DAC as a means to combat climate change and foster economic growth. 

While financial incentives may not be as robust as in wealthier nations, the government is exploring ways to support the industry, and the community engagement has been positive, with plans for apprenticeships and local involvement.

Innovation in Monitoring, Reporting and Verification

Octavia Carbon, in collaboration with Carbonfuture, has launched the world’s first digital monitoring, reporting, and verification (dMRV) system for Direct Air Capture. This groundbreaking system aims to redefine carbon credits’ transparency and trustworthiness, moving away from opaque models to precise, real-time measurement.

The technology will make its debut at Project Hummingbird, Octavia’s flagship DAC facility in Kenya, which is set to become operational by the end of the year. 

Relevant: The EU Is Setting The ‘Gold Standard’ For Carbon Removal Certification

The project is a significant step towards large-scale, cost-effective carbon removal, with an initial removal capacity of 250 metric tons of CO2, scaling up to 1,000 tons per year.

Despite the challenges of a nascent market, Octavia Carbon has secured significant pre-purchase agreements for carbon removal credits, signaling growing corporate interest in high-quality DAC projects. 

The company is actively forming partnerships to scale up operations and drive down costs.

Listen to the full conversation on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

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