Saudi gives huge boost to carbon capture prospects

New tech to ’trap’ 44 million tonnes of CO2

Tuesday 08 November 2022 18:30 GMT
Saudi is shaping up to be a big player in carbon capture
Saudi is shaping up to be a big player in carbon capture (Alamy Stock Photo)

While controlling emissions dominates the Cop27 headlines, there’s less focus on stopping harmful gases getting into the atmosphere in the first place.

The key may be CCS – Carbon Capture and Storage facilities. A new report reveals that the number of CSS plants under development grew by 44% in 2022. That means 244 million tonnes of harmful compounds are prevented from escaping.

CCS is a potentially game-changing technology where harmful gases are not only stored, they can be cycled as alternative fuel sources

But if so, it is still very early in the game.

“Global efforts to reduce emissions, including investment in CCS, are still grossly inadequate”, said Jarad Daniels, CEO, Global CCS Institute, despite what he called  “unprecedented” interest in technology such as direct air capture.

Then, during the first day of the Cop27 conference, there was some big news on CCS.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman announced that his country will deploy “one of the largest carbon capture, usage and storage hubs in the world”.

The facilities, he said,  will be designed to capture 44 million tons of CO2 by 2035. That is 18 per cent of the 2022 global total – and equivalent to 15 per cent of the kingdom’s agreed climate targets by 2035.

A recent study conducted by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) identified Jubail in Saudi Arabia as a potential site for new CCS facilities.

Saudi oil giant Aramco lists several live CCS projects, including sequestration – burying harmful gases underground – and power for cars and trucks. But perhaps the best-known form of carbon capture is nature – trees, especially. As part of the Saudi Green Initiative, Saudi Arabia will plant 50 billion trees over the coming decades – a commitment reaffirmed by the Crown Prince at Cop27.

The news came as HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman addressed delegates and fellow leaders at the Middle East Green Initiative conference.

To find out more about the Saudi Green Initiative, visit

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