Kingdom takes carbon capture to clean heights through KAUST partnership with ENOWA and SEC

A CCRC research scientist demonstrates cryogenic carbon capture during trials at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Photo: KAUST

In what will be one of the largest demonstrations of cryogenic carbon capture technology today, a pilot project between King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), ENOWA, NEOM’s Energy & Water company, and the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is expected to capture 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide per day from SEC’s Green Duba Integrated Solar Combined Cycle (ISCC) power plant at NEOM.

In an official ceremony at the Saudi Green Initiative Forum 2022 during COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, with His Royal Highness Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Al Saud officiating, the signing of two significant documents puts years of dedicated research and development into practice, and underscores the commitment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to move from “ambition to action” with its climate action plans.

Peter Terium, CEO of ENOWA, said, "Since its launch in March this year, ENOWA has achieved significant milestones as it seizes the full potential of renewable energy and advances decarbonization efforts. We are delighted to be partnering with KAUST as we both strive to advance science and technology through bold and collaborative research and education, addressing national and global challenges. Together, we can bring fresh thinking and new energy solutions essential for the world as it transitions to sustainable energy sources."

Cryogenic carbon capture technology is a highly energy efficient and low-cost process with the potential to radically reduce carbon emissions, and, therefore, the carbon footprint of the Kingdom. The carbon captured at the pilot plant is then ready to transport as pure liquid CO2 at room temperature, suitable for food and beverage applications, and with the majority used to produce e-fuels designed to replace fossil fuels for internal combustion engines.

Saudi Electricity Company will build and operate the pilot plant. All three partners are committed to the global momentum to increase the use of efficient and affordable carbon capture technology.

With His Royal Highness Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Al Saud officiating, MoUs signed at SGI during Cop27 between Enowa, KAUST and SEC will advance decarbonization efforts in KSA using cryogenic carboncapture technology. Photo left: KAUST President Tony Chan (L), HRH Minister of Energy (M), and NEOM CEO Peter Terium (R); Photo right: KAUST President Tony Chan (L), HRH Minister of Energy (M); and SEC Executive Vice President, Distribution and Customer Service, Ibrahim M. Al-Khenizan (R). Photo: JWest/KAUST

The project exemplifies a call to action echoed at both COP27 and SGI for more collaborations between private and public sectors, in this case, government, industry and academia working together toward sustainability goals. The project is being funded by KAUST and The National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP).

KAUST Professor William Roberts, director of the Clean Combustion Research Center whose expertise in cryogenic carbon capture technologies leads the project, said, “Together we can play a pivotal role in achieving the “net-zero” emissions goal of the sustainable energy future. The signing is a recognition of the years of world-class research and extensive collaboration by so many people at KAUST, Sustainable Energy Solutions (SES/Chart, our technology partner), SEC, NEOM, the Ministry of Energy and NIDLP.”