Adnoc to use repurposed EV batteries in decarbonisation push

The Battery Energy Storage System is projected to reduce carbon emissions of Adnoc's remote drilling rigs by up to 25% and cut their energy costs by half

Sophie Hildebrand, chief technology officer of Adnoc, and Naser Abu Daqqa, founder and managing director of Power ID, at the agreement signing. Photo: Adnoc
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Adnoc will be building a large-scale power system running on repurposed electric vehicle batteries, which it will use in its operations in a bid to boost its decarbonisation efforts.

The Battery Energy Storage System is projected to reduce the carbon emissions of Adnoc's remote drilling rigs by up to 25 per cent, decreasing their reliance on diesel generators, and cut their energy costs by half, Adnoc said on Wednesday.

The system, which will be built in the UAE, can hold up to two megawatts of power within a 20-foot storage container and will be trialled in partnership with German start-up Power ID, it said. Each container will be mobile, allowing it to be deployed to remote operation sites.

Adnoc has established the UAE’s first Battery Centre of Excellence at the company's Research and Innovation Centre to support the long-term development and deployment of the systems.

The centre will "spearhead research into promising new cell technologies and future battery energy systems", Adnoc said.

“Leveraging innovative technology and partnerships is a key pillar in Adnoc strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045. The Battery Energy Storage System is a cutting-edge innovation that will enhance efficiency and allow us to continue decarbonising our operations," Sophie Hildebrand, chief technology officer at Adnoc, said.

Repurposing EV batteries – reusing them in other applications instead of disposing of them – holds a lot of potential.

They can be used in decentralised energy storage such as in fast charging stations, where batteries can be used to provide additional power, as well as solar energy storage for rooftop or microgrid systems, a study from the Natural Resources Defence Council said.

Batteries can also be repurposed into large, centralised grid operations to combat challenges like storing excess solar energy during the day and releasing it at night, or managing differences in energy demand on both a daily basis, the US non-profit NRDC said.

And with EV battery emissions lower compared to manufacturing it, the longer it stays in operation, the lower its life cycle emissions, it said.

Adnoc's new Battery Energy Storage System, which uses advanced EV technology, comprises 24 second-life EV batteries joined together using silicon carbide converters, the company said.

Each system contains a combination of high performance and high energy cells to provide rig operators with power output and uses disruptive liquid cooling technology, instead of conventional methods, to enhance efficiency and lifespan, it said.

“This system ... is unique for its high energy density ... the compact nature of the system will allow for convenient deployment to remote locations, helping Adnoc to cut emissions from its off-grid production activities," said Naser Abu Daqqa, founder and managing director of Stuttgart-based Power ID.

Adnoc's new battery system will be a key factor in boosting its decarbonisation agenda across its operations as it moves towards its net-zero by 2045 goal.

Its decarbonisation plan is backed by an initial allocation of $15 billion towards low-carbon solutions, new energies and climate technologies.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed tours Adipec 2023

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed tours Adipec 2023

Adnoc has made a number announcements related to its decarbonisation efforts this week, alongside the continuing Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference.

The company signed an agreement with Occidental Petroleum to undertake a joint preliminary engineering study to build the first megaton-scale direct air capture plant outside the US amid the energy industry's push towards decarbonisation.

Adnoc Gas, on the other hand, has awarded a $615 million contract to oil services company Petrofac to build one of the largest carbon capture projects in the Middle East and North Africa.

Updated: October 04, 2023, 10:23 AM