Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, has outlined the company’s proposal to make Houston a multi-user carbon capture and storage (CCS) hub in a new blog post.
Houston is home to many large carbon emitters, including refiners, petrochemical plants and power generation facilities, as well as being close to geologic formations in the Gulf of Mexico where captured CO2 could be stored. ExxonMobil has therefore concluded that the Houston Ship Channel it is the perfect location for a CCS hub.
Blommaert has called for the creation of an “Innovation Zone”, involving private industry, academia and local communities to accelerate the progress of CCS, which is widely believed to be necessary in order to meet global climate targets, particularly for vital industries that are otherwise difficult to decarbonise. The International Energy Agency (IEA), for example, says that reaching net zero will not be possible without CCS. Lessons learnt from the hub could be used in other sites in the US.
Blommaert estimates that the project would cost at least US$100bn, and need the support of both industry and government as a public-private initiative. He anticipates that it could create tens of thousands of new jobs wile protecting thousands of existing jobs. With appropriate policies from the government to incentivise CCS, such as putting a market price on carbon, and enabling CCS to receive direct investment, the hub could store 50 million tpa of CO2 by 2030, and 100 million tpa by 2040.
‘In the weeks, months and years to come, ExxonMobil will continue to engage with the industry, government, academic and community leaders who will be needed to make this concept a reality. I look forward to collaborating with them and helping reduce global CO2 emissions, starting right here in my adopted hometown of Houston,’ Blommaert concludes.