International energy company Occidental (Oxy), and its carbon capture, utilization and sequestration platform subsidiary, 1PointFive, announced today plans to begin construction on a massive Direct Air Capture (DAC) plant in the Texas Permian Basin.

With capacity to capture up to 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year at launch, and the potential to scale up to 1 million tons, the facility would by far be the largest DAC project in the world to date.

DAC technology, listed by the IEA as a key carbon removal option in the transition to a net zero energy system, extracts CO2 directly from the atmosphere for use as a raw material or permanently removed when combined with storage. According to the landmark IPCC climate change mitigation study released earlier this year, scenarios that limit warming to 1.5°C include carbon dioxide removal methods scaling to billions of tons of removal annually over the coming decades, with DAC positioned to potentially account for a significant portion of the total.

Vicki Hollub, President and CEO, Oxy, said:

“The construction of Oxy’s first DAC plant is an important milestone on the pathway to achieving our net-zero ambitions and helping the world meet the Paris Agreement’s climate goals.”

The first stage of construction on the facility, which includes site preparation and road work is intended to start later this year, and start-up is expected in late 2024. Occidental has made an agreement with renewable energy platform Origis Energy to provide zero-emission solar power for the DAC plant and other projects.

Richard Jackson, President, U.S. Onshore Resources and Carbon Management, Operations, Oxy, said:

“Construction of this transformative facility begins our journey toward providing commercial-scale DAC solutions that reduce and remove carbon emissions. This plant’s development is rooted in our carbon management expertise, strong record of delivering major projects and existing infrastructure that supports the commercialization of carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies.”

1PointFive said that it has partnered with climate solutions company Carbon Engineering to commercialize and deploy DAC technology at scale, and has agreed on substantive terms with Worley for engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services, expecting to work toward a definitive agreement for the EPC contract by the end of the year. 1PointFive has announced a scenario to deploy 70 DAC facilities worldwide by 2035 under current compliance and market scenarios.

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