Mammoth DAC project in Iceland moves to due diligence

22 February 2023

The world’s largest commercial-scale direct air capture (DAC) project (capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air), is “being contemplated” in Iceland, says Ramboll, which has recently been selected by DAC technology developer Climeworks to carry out a due diligence study.

Above: Rendering of the planned Mammoth DAC plant (© 2022 Climeworks)

In 2021, Climeworks put into operation the largest direct air capture & storage plant to date, Orca, in Hellisheiði, Iceland. This plant has a nominal capture capacity of up to 4000 tonnes of CO2 annually. The captured CO2 is stored deep underground by Climeworks’ storage partner Carbfix, where it will eventually turn into rock through mineralisation.

Climeworks has initiated the new plant, called Mammoth, in the same location as Orca. It will be around ten times bigger, expected to capture up to 36 000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

The longer term goal, however, is to scale up to reach multi-megaton capacity in the 2030s and be on track to achieve gigaton capacity by 2050.

Ramboll, which was involved in Orca, has again been chosen to provide independent engineer services to Climeworks, including technical, environmental and commercial due diligence for the project with a primary focus on the technical aspects. The key objective of the independent engineer review, says Ramboll, is to provide a basis for a potential investor (or investors) to invest in the Mammoth project.

“Ramboll has in-depth knowledge of direct air capture technology and already gained experience through their involvement in the Orca plant. We are pleased to continue the collaboration on the Mammoth project too”, said Birk Teuchert, head of corporate finance at Climeworks.Thomas Hyldgard Christensen, manager of the project at Ramboll, said: “Very few plants of this type are in operation worldwide. They are key to reaching global climate goals, and one of the first steps is upscaling like here in Iceland.”

The propose new DAC plant will be located near the Hellisheiði geothermal power plant, which will provide renewable energy to power the capture process. Construction is expected to last 18-24 months.

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