Exxon, Shell partner with Cnooc on China carbon capture project

The project by Exxon, Shell and Cnooc would capture as much as 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year. PHOTOS: AFP, BLOOMBERG

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - Oil majors from three continents are partnering with the world's largest factory hub on a massive carbon capture site that would store the heat-trapping gas at sea in China.

Exxon Mobil, Shell and Cnooc signed a non-binding agreement with the Guangdong government on a facility that would capture as much as 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year, the companies said in press releases. It would be one of the largest such projects in the world.

The hub would trap carbon emissions from the Dayawan Petrochemical Industrial Park before they're released into the atmosphere. Shell and Cnooc jointly operate a plant in the park while Exxon last year decided to invest in a complex.

The companies didn't announce a schedule for making an investment decision or starting construction, or estimate a cost of the project. The industrial park is just a small part of the massive factory complex across Guangdong province, which produces more gross domestic product than South Korea. The proposed project would capture about 0.1 per cent of China's annual emissions.

The International Energy Agency is among groups calling for a massive increase in carbon capture in order to meet climate goals, saying global capacity needs to reach 7.6 billion tonnes a year by 2050, up from around 40 million now. Santos has also announced plans for a project that would store about 10 million tonnes a year off Timor Leste.

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