Stock - Saudi economy / Riyadh skyline
The Saudi center, at the port city of Jubail, will potentially be able to store up to 9 million tons of carbon dioxide a year by 2027. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has established a facility on its eastern coast to capture carbon, as the world’s biggest oil exporter seeks to reach its goal of neutralizing emissions by 2060.

“Don’t be very surprised if we achieve this net-zero before then,” Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in a speech on Thursday evening at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Neighboring UAE and many European countries have set a target of 2050.

The Saudi center, at the port city of Jubail, will potentially be able to store up to 9 million tons of carbon dioxide a year by 2027. That’s equivalent to the emissions from about 2 million gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven over a year.

The project is part of the kingdom’s plan to produce blue hydrogen, a gas seen as key to the energy transition since it produces no emissions when burned. Yet, it will need massive carbon capture and storage facilities to do this in a truly planet-friendly way.

State energy firm Saudi Aramco aims to become one of the world’s biggest exporters of blue hydrogen in the next decade.

CC The remaining 3 million tons will come from other industrial sources, he said.