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22 Apr 2024

A collaboration between Microsoft, CO280 and Aker Carbon Capture has been created to focus on scaling-up carbon removal

Amy Power
A collaboration between Microsoft, CO280 and Aker Carbon Capture has been created to focus on scaling-up carbon removal

An MoU has been created between Microsoft, Aker Carbon Capture and CO280 and this MoU will allow the companies to focus on scaling up carbon removal systems. This attention to scaling up, will be directed to the physical and digital value chain of carbon removal within the US and Canada.

This MoU aligns with the companies’ aims to scale up this specific value chain, through capturing and permanently sequestering biogenic CO2. These operations will be conducted at pulp and paper mills, which are located in the US and Canada. The companies plan to carry out this project, through tackling the regulatory, technological and commercial challenges, as well as opportunities that are available for creating carbon removal. The collaboration has stated that each company involved will play an important and distinct commercial role, plus all the companies have shown interest in the collaboration taking place on a non-exclusive basis. The intention behind the collaboration between CO280, Aker Carbon Capture and Microsoft, is to supply the market with a significant amount of permanent, verifiable, affordable Carbon Dioxide Removals (CDRs).

All three companies stated that they, ‘have the expertise, technologies, and resources to develop this market by creating a scalable model to deploy large-scale projects quickly to meet global net zero targets.’

Each company brings something specific to the project, for example, CO280 is known as the leading developer of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) projects for the pulp and paper industry. They have gained this title through their partnership with pulp and paper companies, which involves them developing, financing, owning and operating large-scale CDR projects. All of their projects aim to fix places where there is a critical supply gap within the CDR market and they handle this gap, through constantly supplying permanent, verifiable and affordable CDR solutions to corporate buyers, who are based within the voluntary market. At the moment, it has been stated that CO280 has more than 10 million tonnes of CDR under development every year.

Furthermore, Aker Carbon Capture brings their dedication to enabling carbon removal and reduction to this project, plus their Just Catch modular solutions have been proven to help industries deploy their capture technology, both at scale and at speed. Aker is currently in the process of delivering seven carbon capture units to different projects. Five Just Catch 100 units are being dedicated to Ørsted, another one is going to Twence and a final Big Catch delivery is going to Heidelberg Materials at Brevik.

It was announced in 2020 that Microsoft has very specific carbon goals, such as being carbon negative by 2030 and also, removing the company’s aggregated carbon footprint by 2050. The way the company has built towards these goals so far, includes using carbon-free energy to replace electricity consumption, whilst simultaneously removing any remaining emissions. So far, Microsoft’s work which has been dedicated to this area, has included running an open process for carbon removal since 2020 and from this process, the company has openly shared learning. On top of this, Microsoft has made it clear that they are interested in and dedicated to creating a robust market for CDRs. This would include creating a digital value chain which would authoritatively track carbon attributes, whilst it also generates simple and straightforward robust credits. These are the reasons why Aker Carbon Capture and CO280 view Microsoft as an ideal partner for their current project.

The MoU that has been created, comes with certain aims that the companies collectively agree to explore. These include:

·        Developing biogenic carbon capture project(s), which includes projects that are currently in CO280’s development pipeline, with the ability to branch out into other projects. 

·        Applying CO280’s expertise to help jointly develop a standard and efficient screening process which will evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of carbon capture on pulp and paper mills. This would be done with the intention of it leading to subsequent deployment of Aker Carbon Capture’s plants, including the modularized Just Catch series.

·        Standardising the lifecycle assessment (LCA) and measurement, verification, and reporting (MRV) systems for capture projects in pulp and paper. This would be carried out with the ambition to leverage Microsoft’s digital capabilities, cloud computing platforms, services, and solutions.

·        Creating a digital tool to compare CO280’s planned projects against Microsoft Criteria for High Quality Carbon Removal.

·        Advocating for policies and demonstrating thought leadership to promote the pulp and paper carbon capture market. Whilst simultaneously, the corresponding creation and use of high-integrity carbon removal credits takes place.

Chief Executive Officer of CO280, Jonathan Rhone, commented, “This commitment on the part of three best-in-class companies is exactly the kind of bold move the industry needs to unlock the enormous removal opportunity in the pulp and paper industry and scale up the CDR market. Together, we are developing the largest scale, lowest cost, permanent carbon removal projects in the world.”

Corporate Vice President of Energy and Resources Industry at Microsoft, Darryl Willis, added, “Our collaboration with Aker Carbon Capture and CO280 builds on important large-scale initiatives across asset-intensive industries including pulp and paper. By leveraging the power of technology to create a digital value chain for carbon tracking and reporting, we can equip the market for high-integrity carbon removal credits and further enable the industrial sector to decarbonize.”

CEO of Aker Carbon Capture, Egil Fagerland, mentioned, “It’s time to move past the first-of-a-kind and the demonstration projects for carbon removal. The deployment rate needs to be accelerated by the hundreds to deliver the ‘net’ in net zero. We have demonstrated the strength of working together in the past, and we are excited to expand our collaboration with Microsoft and CO280 to further deliver impact.”

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