World’s largest direct air capture project
The world’s largest commercial-scale project capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air and storing it underground is being planned in Iceland. Ramboll has been selected by Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology leader Climeworks to carry out a due diligence study of the project operating under the name of Mammoth.
In 2021, Climeworks opened the largest direct air capture & storage (DAC+S) plant to date, Orca, in Hellisheiði, Iceland. The plant has a nominal capture capacity of up to 4,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, which is the equivalent of the annual emissions of 800 cars. The captured CO2 is stored deep in the Icelandic underground by Climeworks’ storage partner Carbfix, where it will eventually turn into rock through mineralisation.
Now, Climeworks has initiated a new plant, Mammoth, in the same location as Orca. The plant will be around ten times bigger than Orca and is expected to capture up to 36,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. The goal, however, is to scale up in the future to reach multi-megaton capacity in the 2030s and being on track to gigaton capacity by 2050.
Ramboll has been chosen to provide independent engineer services to Climeworks, including the technical, environmental and commercial due diligence for the project with primary focus on the technical aspects. The objective of the Independent Engineer Review is to provide a basis for potential investor(s) to invest in the Mammoth Project.
“Ramboll has in-depth knowledge of the Direct Air Capture technology and already gained experience through their involvement in the Orca plant. We are pleased to continue the collaboration on the Mammoth project too”, said Birk Teuchert, Head of Corporate Finance at Climeworks.
Thomas Hyldgard Christensen, Manager of the project at Ramboll, said: “Very few plants of this type are in operation worldwide. They are key to reaching global climate goals, and one of the first steps is upscaling like here in Iceland.”
The plant will be located near the Hellisheiði geothermal power plant, which will provide renewable energy to power the capture process. Construction is expected to last 18-24 months before operations start.