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Egypt is fueling change, unveils $25 million carbon capture project

In collaboration with Italian oil and gas company Eni, the project involves extraction of algae oil in biofuel production and capturing approximately 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Carbon capture and storage technologies have been touted as a viable solution to bridge the gap for the next few decades, cutting emissions until a shift to a low carbon economy for oil-dependent nations of the Middle East. 

As the plan for lower carbon solutions takes steady ground in Egypt ahead of COP27, Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources partnered with Italian oil and gas company Eni for a $25 million project. The project aims to capture approximately 25,000 – 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Announced by Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, the project will harness carbon dioxide in the Meleiha concession, situated in the Western Desert of Egypt.

The Minister said the first phase focuses on the extraction of algae oil in biofuel production, with an annual production capacity of 350,000 tonnes with an investment of $600 million, which contributes to the reduction of 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

The second phase focuses on producing biodegradable plastics with a production capacity of 75,000 tonnes to reduce 45,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The third project is to convert plastic waste into oil as a raw material in polyethylene production, with an annual production capacity of 30,000 tonnes and investments of $50 million, and reduce 63,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

“The most important action or activity that everybody should work on diligently is CCUS. It’s very important to the oil and gas industry, very important also for [combating] climate change,” El Molla told CNBC. He added that Egypt would launch several climate-related initiatives at COP 27 and that hosting the summit in November would offer an opportunity to press for funding and investment to help the country achieve net-zero ambitions.

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