OGCI selects first three green investment projects

Article by Helen Tunnicliffe

THE OIL AND GAS CLIMATE INITIATIVE (OGCI) has selected the first three low carbon projects to benefit from its billion dollar OGCI Climate Investments fund.

The OGCI is an alliance of ten oil majors - BP, CNPC, Eni, Pemex, Reliance Industries, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total – set up in 2014 to help tackle climate change and support the aims of the Paris climate agreement. In November 2016 it pledged to invest US$1bn in low emission projects. The three companies receiving funding cover three different industries, cement, vehicle engines and electricity production.

US-based Solidia Technologies has developed patented technology to lower the CO2 emissions from concrete. Rather than being emitted, CO2 produced during the cement production process is used to cure concrete instead of water. Fuel consumption is 30% lower than conventional production processes, the carbon footprint of the concrete is lowered by around 70% and water consumption is reduced by 80%.

Achates Power has developed high-efficiency opposed-piston engines which it says can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. The OGCI investment will help the company to accelerate adoption of the technology worldwide, as part of a broader consortium.

OGCI will also invest in an unnamed project to develop a full-scale gas power plant with CCS. OGCI Climate Investments will work with the project team to develop a viable concept and basic engineering design that can attract both government support and private investment.

“The three investments we are announcing today have the potential to make a meaningful impact on greenhouse gas emissions. We look forward to working with these innovative teams to help them achieve commercial success on a global scale,” said Pratima Rangarajan, CEO of OGCI Climate Investments.

The three investment projects were the major announcement in the OGCI’s latest annual progress report, A Catalyst for Change, launched today in London.

Earlier this year, the OCGI partnered with the United Nations Environment and the Environmental Defense Fund to provide financial and technical backing for a major study into global methane emissions, the first of its kind. It is hoped that the study will provide useful insights into methane emissions to help inform policies and identify strategies to lower emissions.

The OGCI is also working with Imperial College London, UK, in research to provide a more accurate picture of greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas production and distribution, which will help identify areas for improvement.

“Natural gas is a vital part of the transition to a lower carbon future. Our aim is to work towards near zero methane emissions from the gas value chain. We are also committed to ensure that natural gas continues to deliver its clear climate and clean air benefit compared to coal,” write the ten OGCI partner CEOs in the report’s foreword.

In the report, the OGCI sets out its next priorities. The partners pledge to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS), reduce methane emissions from natural gas production, so its potential emissions reductions benefits can be fully realised, and remove obstacles to the development of technologies that could help the world meet its climate targets.

Article by Helen Tunnicliffe

Senior reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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