The Middle East and North Africa’s first commercial-scale carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) facility was unveiled on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, UAE earlier this week. The facility is expected to clean up to 800,000 tons of CO2 a year.

The process of carbon capture and storage, or CCS,  involves collecting the gas from facilities that use fossil fuels and storing it to limit the emissions produced by heavy industries. According to the World Bank, the carbon emissions in the world notably increased from 3 metric tons per capita in the 1960s to 4.99 metric tons per capita at last count.

The carbon-capture facility was developed by Carbon Capture Company Al Reyadah,  a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and  Masdar which is the the clean technology and renewable energy arm of Abu Dhabi’s Government. It will clean up emissions produced by Emirates Steel Industries (ESI), which produces clear CO2 with 98% concentration.

Carbon dioxide will be collected on site at Emirates Steel and then it will be compressed and dehydrated. The captured CO2 will then be transmitted via a 42 kilometer pipeline, built with the new facility, to ADNOC’s North East Bab (NEB) and Bab onshore oilfields.

“This project has been under study for a very long time and now it is a reality,” the UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told AFP . “When it is fully operational it will remove CO2 equivalent to taking more than 170,000 cars off the roads.”

In 2013, the facility’s AED 450 million (USD $122 million) procurement and construction contract was awarded to Emirati company Dodsal Group. The CCS technology has been applied before in several projects in the US, China, as well as Algeria and Canada.

The UAE has been putting notable effort and resources into green and environmentally-friendly project projects. Dubai is currently building the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) as well as a sustainable city with solar water heaters and green home appliances for its residents. The city promises a 100% water and waste recycling and “natural biodome greenhouses, organic farm and individual garden farms for local food production.”

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