Kuwait's Equate launches first green CO2 project

Kuwait's Equate Petrochemicals Co. launched on Sunday the oil-rich Gulf state's first green carbon project which will use more than 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually.

Under the scheme, Equate, a Kuwait-US joint venture, will capture CO2 emissions which will then be carried by a pipeline and injected into a special plant under construction, Equate president Hamad al-Terkait said.

Greencarbon Company, a private Kuwaiti firm, is building the plant at a cost of 65 million dollars (around 49 million euros) and CO2 will be used in food and beverage industries, managing director Nafeesi al-Nafeesi said.

The plant is set to start operating in 2012 and will reduce CO2 emitted by Equate, a large petrochemicals company, by between 60 to 70 percent annually, Abdullah al-Masaud, Equate's Project Execution Manager, said.

Masaud said that Equate has already completed its part of the project, which was signed two years ago, and the company is now ready to provide 450 tonnes of CO2 daily.

Equate officials stressed that CO2 emissions are currently less than levels required by international standards but the company wants to reduce those emissions further.

Masaud said the company plans a second phase for the project to achieve zero-carbon emissions, but gave no time frame for the project.

Located in the industrial area of Shuaiba, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Kuwait City, Equate produces hundreds of thousands of tonnes of polyethylene, ethylene glycol and styrene monomer annually.

The company also launched another environment-friendly scheme - Plant Water Recycle Project - with the aim to recover 80 percent of Equate process water which can be used for irrigation.