Occidental breaks ground on world’s largest direct air capture plant


United States – Occidental Petroleum, an oil and gas company, has broken ground on the world’s largest direct air capture (DAC) plant in Texas, USA.

The project is valued at $1 billion and is expected to capture up to 500,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year, with the potential to increase its capacity to 1 million tons of CO2 per year. The DAC plant, called Stratos, will be built by Occidental Petroleum’s subsidiary, 1PointFive, on a remote 65-acre site. The plant is expected to be operational by mid-2025, following the work of 1,000 workers. The captured CO2 will be stored permanently in underground saline formations or used to create valuable products.

Low carbon products

The groundbreaking ceremony, held in front of representatives of the local government, business executives, and energy sector leaders, was led by Occidental Petroleum’s President and CEO, Vicki Hollub, who highlighted the need for companies to invest in direct air capture technology to reduce CO2 emissions and meet net-zero goals. Hollub said that the company had started looking at ways to improve the environment 10 years ago and realized that they could capture CO2 and create low carbon products. She also said that the DAC plant would help make a difference around the world.

Crucial tool

Direct air capture technology captures CO2 directly from the air using machines and stores it permanently underground or uses it to make useful products. The technology has been hailed as a crucial tool in the fight against climate change and achieving net-zero goals. Carbon Engineering, Climeworks, and Global Thermostat are some of the companies already developing direct air capture technology.

Stratos project

Occidental Petroleum’s Stratos project is an example of how traditional energy companies are starting to invest in renewable energy technologies, such as direct air capture. In recent years, the oil and gas industry has been under increasing pressure from investors, shareholders, and the public to reduce their carbon footprint and become more sustainable. The development of the Stratos DAC plant highlights Occidental Petroleum’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and transitioning to a more sustainable future.