Facility in Texas will capture up to 500,000 metric tons/year of CO2. [Image: Carbon Engineering]

By Dale Lunan

Occidental Petroleum said August 25 it is ready to begin detailed engineering and early site work for its first large-scale direct air capture (DAC) facility in Texas, with site preparation and road works to begin in Q3 2022.

When completed in late 2024, the DAC facility, using technology developed by Canada’s Carbon Engineering, will be the largest of its kind in the world, capable of capturing as much as 500,000 mt/yr of CO2 from the atmosphere. Oxy will use the CO2 in its nearby enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations.

Oxy’s subsidiary 1PointFive – also active in the project – says it intends to deploy as many as 70 similar DAC facilities worldwide by 2035.

The decision to proceed with construction in Texas follows the successful completion of a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study and extensive testing and validation at Carbon Engineering’s innovation centre in Squamish, BC. 1PointFive has agreed on substantive terms with Worley for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, and expects to work towards a definitive EPC contract by the end of the year.

“The construction of Oxy’s first DAC plant is an important milestone on the pathway to achieving our net-zero ambitions and helping the world meet the Paris Agreement’s climate goals,” Oxy CEO Vicki Hollub said. “We are fortunate to partner with Carbon Engineering and Worley, who share our vision in creating a carbon removal industry that can accelerate the path to net zero.”

The project, which will qualify for credits under the newly-enacted Inflation Reduction Act, will employ more than 1,000 workers during the construction phase and up to 75 when fully operational.