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Climeworks takes another major step on its road to building gigaton DAC capacity

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Climeworks has broken ground on its new Mammoth DAC facility, which will result in a 9x increase in its CO2 direct air capture capacity.

  • Climeworks is to build its newest and largest direct air capture and storage facility, called Mammoth, in Iceland.
  • With a nominal CO₂ capture capacity of 36,000 tons per year when fully operational, Mammoth represents a demonstrable step in Climeworks’ ambitious scale-up plan: multi-megaton capacity by 2030, on track to deliver gigaton capacity by 2050.
  • Mammoth capitalizes on a very dynamic market demand – with several 10-year offtake agreements signed over the last months – and technology learnings from operating Orca.

According to Jan Wurzbacher, co-founder and co-chief executive of Climeworks, the groundbreaking of Climeworks’ newest and largest direct air capture and storage plant represents a demonstrable step in the company’s ambitious scale-up plan: multi-megaton capacity by 2030, on track to deliver gigaton capacity by 2050.

Funds raised to accelerate Climeworks expansion

Following a recent equity raise of $650 million, Climeworks is focused on rapidly scaling-up capacity on the market. It will concentrate on implementing large modular direct air capture and storage facilities, investing in technological development, and growing its organization globally.

Mammoth is Climeworks’ 18th project and its second commercial direct air capture and storage plant. It is designed with a nominal CO₂ capture capacity of 36’000 tons per year when fully operational – an order of magnitude larger than its Orca facility, which began operations in September 2021.

Carbfix will provide carbon storage fuelled by renewables

Carbfix, Climeworks’ CO₂ storage partner, will provide the permanent underground storage of carbon dioxide. The Hellisheiði electricity power plant operated by ON Power will supply Climeworks’ Mammoth plant and the Carbfix CO₂ injection sites with renewable energy to run the entire direct air capture and storage process.

Mammoth is designed to further expand supply and provide engineering experience for Climeworks’ 10x scale-up steps. It capitalizes on a very dynamic market demand – with several 10-year offtake agreements signed over the last months – and technology learnings from operating Orca.

Carbon removal needs massive scale up in investment

The Energy Transitions Committee has warned that in order to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of net zero by 2050, or keeping temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, could require investment of $15 trillion (£11.4 trillion) in carbon dioxide removals (CDRs) over the next three decades.

There are a number of different ways in which removals can be achieved, whether through natural means such as reforestation and improved soil management, but there is growing interest and focus on engineered solutions, such as direct air capture of CO2, or even hybrid solutions, such as bioenergy plus carbon capture and storage.

Located in Iceland, the construction of Mammoth is expected to last 18-24 months before operations start.

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