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.

Blommaert 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) said reaching net zero will not be possible without CCS.

Blommaert estimates that the project would cost at least $100 billion and need the support of both industry and government as a public-private initiative.

He anticipates it could create tens of thousands of new jobs while 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 added.

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22nd April 2021