Oil majors Chevron and Occidental Petroleum are taking a minority stake in a Canadian start-up that has developed technologies to suck carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and use it to make synthetic fuel. The deal marks the first significant investment by energy groups into the technology, known as direct air capture, which pulls carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by using chemicals and fans. Carbon Engineering, a Bill Gates-backed start-up based in Squamish, British Columbia, said the new investment was part of a $60m fundraising round that would help it design and build commercial-scale plants. The company has not disclosed its valuation. The investment comes at a time when the oil and gas industry is r acing to find ways to reduce carbon emissions while also maintaining its core business model, producing and selling fuel. Part of the answer could be “negative emissions”, which refers to a range of technologies that reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the air. “Negative emissions are increasingly essential in the various scenarios for how we address climate change,” said Steve Oldham, chief executive of Carbon Engineering. “It’s infeasible that we all stop using fossil fuels overnight.” Unlike more traditional methods of carbon capture, which rely on pulling carbon dioxide out of a smokestack or from close to the source of emissions in an industrial process, direct air capture sucks carbon dioxide from the air.
FT 9th Jan 2019 read more »