Sophie Hildebrand, Chief Technology Officer at ADNOC, at WGS 2023 in Dubai
Sophie Hildebrand (right), Chief Technology Officer at ADNOC, at WGS 2023 in Dubai on Monday Image Credit: Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

Fujairah: Fujairah has been picked for a unique pilot project by ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) to permanently mineralise carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere owing to unique rock formations found in the emirate, the World Government Summit (WGS) in Dubai heard on Monday.

At a panel discussion on the ‘Global Governance of Large-scale climate change mitigation technologies’, Sophie Hildebrand, Chief Technology Officer at ADNOC, said the project will use 44.01’s Earthshot prize-winning Carbon Capture and Mineralisation (CCM) technology to permanently mineralise carbon dioxide.

She said this will be part of ADNOC’s investment of $15 billion (around Dh billion) from now until 2030 on low carbon solutions and into projects that will reduce our carbon footprint and help the company achieve its Net Zero ambition by 2050.

“The private sector and all parts of the industry play a monumental role to minimise carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That can come from a large company like ADNOC with over 50,000 employees all the way to small start-ups to make that positive difference to the atmosphere we live and breathe in,” she added.

About the project

ADNOC has partnered with the Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation (FNRC), Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and 44.01 to pilot technology. This project will aim to permanently mineralise CO2 within rock formations found in the Fujairah.

Hildebrand said the plan is to eliminate CO2 from the atmosphere. “It will be the first CCM project by an energy company in the Middle East.”

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Why Fujairah

Hildebrand said Fujairah has been selected for this pilot due to its abundance of peridotite, a form of rock that naturally reacts with CO2 to mineralise it. “Under the project, CO2 will be captured from the air, dissolved in seawater, and then injected into peridotite formations deep underground, where it will mineralise – ensuring that it cannot escape back into the atmosphere,” explained Hildebrand.

“Removing CO2 from the atmosphere is vital if we are to halt and ultimately reverse climate change. Unlike CO2 storage, mineralisation removes CO2 permanently by turning it into rock, minimising the need for long-term monitoring and insurance.”

The project will be powered by solar energy supplied by Masdar. A successful pilot would open the possibility of mineralising billions of tonnes of captured CO2 across the region.

“The project is possible to work only in certain types of places where this rock exists. And we are very lucky that this rock exists in the UAE.”

She added that ADNOC has launched another project - a fully sequester CO2 injection project. “Here we are going to be taking the carbon dioxide from the UAE’s vertical operations and we will be injecting a 100 per cent of that back into Abu Dhabi’s onshore carbonate aquafers. Both these are important projects. We start small and scale big.”