Shell and Partners Explore Carbon Capture in China

08.11.2022 - Shell has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BASF and Chinese state-owned groups, including chemical producer Sinopec and steel maker Baowu, to explore the feasibility of developing an open-source carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) project in East China.

An open-source project could potentially offer industrial companies in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River contractual opportunities to capture and store their CO2 emissions, Shell said. The captured CO2 would be shipped to a receiving terminal on carrier ships, before being transported to onshore and offshore storage sites through pipelines. offering a flexible, efficient and integrated decarbonization solution for companies in the region.

CCS offers a way to reduce emissions in hard-to-abate sectors and we are actively exploring such opportunities with our partners,” said Shell’s downstream director Huibert Vigeveno. “This project is also in line with Shell’s strategic approach to provide decarbonization solutions to individual market sectors, as well as our ambition of having access to at least 25 million t/y of CCS capacity by 2035.”

Under the terms of the MoU, the partners will conduct a joint study to assess technical solutions and develop a commercial model for the project. The study will also explore the establishment of high-integrity and verified low-carbon product supply chains and propose enabling policies. If successful, this will be China’s first large-scale open-source CCUS project with a potential capacity of tens of millions t/y of CO2.

Shell has sketched out a possible pathway for China to achieve a carbon-neutral energy system by 2060, by when a little more than 1.3 gigatons of CO2 would need to be captured and stored annually.

However, its scenario means that China’s CCUS capacity would have to increase more than 400 times in the next 40 years.

While Shell said this is technically possible as many of China’s CCUS technologies are either close to or have reached commercialization, the main challenge lies in creating conditions to support substantial investment in large-scale CCUS.

Currently, there are more than 40 CCUS pilot projects underway in China, with a total capacity of 3 million t, according to Shell, which added that many of these are small developments linked with enhanced oil recovery and need to scale up significantly.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist