Aramco advances development of emissions reduction solutions

  • Company finalizing engineering agreement with Topsoe to build lower-carbon hydrogen demonstration plant
  • Research collaboration with Siemens Energy to develop Direct Air Capture test unit
  • Novel CO2 sequestration solution using mineralization successfully piloted in Jazan
  • Three potential locations identified for geothermal energy projects

Aramco (“the Company”), one of the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals companies, is further advancing the development of emissions reduction solutions including lower-carbon hydrogen, Direct Air Capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide, a novel approach to CO2 storage that involves turning carbon dioxide into stone, 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. 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 Executive Vice President of Technology & Innovation, said: “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.”

Lower-carbon hydrogen
Following the success of a pilot project in Denmark, Aramco is in the process of signing an engineering agreement with Topsoe, a leader in energy-efficient technologies, to construct a lower-carbon hydrogen demonstration plant at the Shaybah Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) recovery plant, in Saudi Arabia. It is expected to have a production capacity of six tons of hydrogen per day and use renewable electricity in electrified steam reforming of hydrocarbons to produce lower-carbon hydrogen for use in power generation, with resulting CO2 being captured and sequestered.

Direct Air Capture
Aramco is also collaborating with Siemens Energy to develop a DAC test unit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, with the capacity to capture up to 12 tons of CO2 per year. The test unit, which is expected to be completed in 2024, is intended to pave the way for a larger pilot plant that would have a CO2 capture capacity of 1,250 tons per year. 

Novel CO2 sequestration
In addition, Aramco has successfully piloted a novel CO2 sequestration solution using in situ mineralization, which involves dissolving CO2 in water and injecting it into volcanic rocks in Jazan, Saudi Arabia. The process permanently converts CO2 into carbonate rocks and the pilot team involved representatives from Aramco and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Several innovative technologies were developed and deployed in the pilot, to help increase efficiency and reduce cost. 

Geothermal energy
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. 

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