Egypt and Italian energy company Eni plan to develop a project to capture and store carbon dioxide in the Meleiha field as the North African country moves to reduce emissions.
The project, which will entail an investment of $25 million, will capture and store between 25,000 and 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, said Tarek El Molla, Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, according to UAE state news agency Wam.
The minister did not mention when the project would be completed.
Carbon capture, and storage refers to a method where carbon dioxide is captured from industrial sources or directly from the atmosphere and is compressed and transported to be used elsewhere or injected into deep geological formation, according to the International Energy Agency.
The project is unveiled as the Arab region’s most populous country prepares to host the UN’s Cop27 climate change conference and summit in Sharm El Sheikh in November this year. The UAE will host the Cop28 summit in 2023.
Egypt accounts for only 0.6 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad said at a petroleum conference in Cairo in February this year.
Removing carbon will be crucial to achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of capping the rise in global temperatures at 1.5°C or 2°C above pre-industrial levels, according to energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. About 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over the next 30 years need to be actively removed to reach the mandated 1.5°C target, the consultancy said.
Globally, about 33 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide were emitted in 2019. Carbon capture and storage projects across the world are able to capture only a fraction of the emissions, at about 40 million tonnes annually.
Egypt’s first carbon capture and storage project will focus on the extraction of algae oil to be used in biofuel production. It will have an annual production capacity of 350,000 tonnes for an investment of $600m, Mr El Molla said.
The project will contribute to the reduction of 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, the minister said.
The second project will produce biodegradable plastics with a capacity of 75,000 tonnes at an investment of $600m. It aims to reduce 45,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, according to the minister.
The third project aims to convert plastic waste into oil to be used as a raw material in polyethylene production. It will have an annual output of 30,000 tonnes for an investment of $50m.
It plans to reduce 63,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, Mr El Molla said.
The North African country is also planning to include green hydrogen in its energy mix and plans to unveil a green hydrogen strategy by October.
Suez Canal Economic Zone offered H2 Industries preliminary approval for a $3 billion waste-to-hydrogen plant in East Port Said.
Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar and Hassan Allam Utilities also signed two preliminary agreements with Egyptian state-backed organisations last month to co-operate on the development of green hydrogen production plants in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and the Mediterranean coast.
In April, Egypt signed a $3bn agreement with a consortium led by French company EDF Renewables and Egyptian company Zero Waste to develop a green hydrogen megaproject in Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea that will produce up to 350,000 tonnes of green fuel annually for ships passing through the Suez Canal.
It also partnered with Norway’s Scatec in March to build the country’s first green ammonia plant at a cost of $5bn, with a production capacity starting at one million tonnes a year, increasing to three million tonnes.