Aramco, one of the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals companies, is further advancing the development of emissions reduction solutions. These solutions include lower-carbon hydrogen, Direct Air Capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide, and the harnessing of geothermal energy.
The projects support Aramco’s ambition to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across its wholly owned and operated assets by 2050, as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s 2060 net-zero ambition, Aramco said in a press release.
Details of the projects were disclosed on the sidelines of MENA Climate Week 2023, which is taking place in Saudi Arabia from October 8 to 12.
Ahmad Al Khowaiter, Aramco’s Executive Vice President of Technology & Innovation, emphasized the company’s dedication to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change.
“These projects highlight just some of the innovative ways that Aramco aims to help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. We are working on multiple fronts, partnering with leaders in a variety of fields, in an effort to advance technology solutions that have the potential to make a real impact. This includes new and groundbreaking approaches that align with our vision of a circular carbon economy as we strive to meet the world’s energy needs both now and, in the future,” he said.
Following the success of a pilot project in Denmark, Aramco is finalizing an engineering agreement with Topsoe, a renowned provider of energy-efficient technologies, to construct a lower-carbon hydrogen demonstration plant located at the Shaybah Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) recovery plant in Saudi Arabia.
The plant is expected to have a production capacity of six tons of hydrogen per day. It will utilize renewable electricity in electrified steam reforming of hydrocarbons to produce lower-carbon hydrogen for power generation, with resulting CO2 emissions being captured and sequestered.
Direct Air Capture
Aramco is also collaborating with Siemens Energy to develop a Direct Air Capture (DAC) test unit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. This test unit will have the capacity to capture up to 12 tons of CO2 per year.
The completion of the test unit is expected in 2024 and will pave the way for a larger pilot plant with a CO2 capture capacity of 1,250 tons per year.
Novel CO2 Sequestration
Aramco has successfully piloted a novel CO2 sequestration solution using in situ mineralization. This solution involves dissolving CO2 in water and injecting it into volcanic rocks in Jazan, Saudi Arabia. The process permanently converts CO2 into carbonate rocks, effectively storing carbon dioxide.
The pilot project was a collaborative effort between Aramco and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. The team developed and deployed innovative technologies to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.
The company is also exploring the expansion of its renewable energy portfolio by tapping into geothermal energy, which involves converting steam from naturally heated underground aquifers into electricity.
Three potential areas on the west coast of Saudi Arabia have already been identified and mapped using sophisticated subsurface technologies, and steps are underway to assess the extent of geothermal resources at each location.