The world’s largest carbon removal plant located to the east of Reykjavik, Iceland, has frozen, putting its operations behind schedule.
Climeworks, the company behind the ambitious plant named ‘Orca’, had set out to capture 4,000 metric tons of CO2 every year directly from the air – a process known as direct air capture or DAC.
By the end of the decade, in fact, the project’s capacity is expected to reach as much as 1 million tons of carbon dioxide.
However, as it became apparent, the plant was not equipped to handle the harsh weather conditions in Iceland and some of the machinery froze.
Climeworks was thus forced to urgently make modifications, which will inevitably be a bump in the road towards the company’s carbon removal goals in Iceland.
The Orca plant was officially launched in September 2021 and was even praised by the country’s prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir and dubbed a ‘milestone’ in the global battle against the climate crisis.
Furthermore, the DAC facility runs on power from geothermal energy sources, meaning it is as sustainable as can be.
Recently, Climeworks signed several new carbon removal agreements with major companies, such as Swarovski, Rothesay Life, and others and raised $650 million to scale its technology.