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Carbon Capture and Utilization

Project AIR signs EUR 97 million grant agreement

Project AIR signs EUR 97 million grant agreement
Representatives from Perstorp, Uniper, and the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) at the grant signing agreement (photo courtesy Perstorp).

Representatives from Perstorp, Uniper, and the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) have officially signed the agreement granting the project support from the Innovation Fund.

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The agreement states that Project AIR will receive EUR 97 million in support to enable its ground-breaking technology, which is a critical enabler for the European chemicals industry to become carbon-neutral.

Project AIR is a combination of a carbon capture and utilization (CCU) process for converting carbon dioxide (CO2), residue streams, renewable hydrogen, and biomethane, which is to be applied for the first-of-a-kind, large-scale production of sustainable methanol.

Today marks an important milestone, not just for Project Air but for the chemical industry, as we are now demonstrating that it is possible to break our industry’s dependence on fossil fuels. We hope that more will follow our lead with similar technologies, enabling circular production processes that utilize residue streams and captured carbon, commented Jan Secher, CEO of Perstorp Group.

We are happy and grateful that the EU and the Innovation Fund recognize the importance of the chemical industry and its sustainable transformation with this support, which will enable the sustainable transformation of thousands of end products and value chains, Jan Secher said.

The project is expected to lead to a relative decrease of 123 percent in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions avoidance in comparison with conventional methanol synthesis.

Europe is experiencing an unprecedented energy squeeze, where the focus is on securing energy supplies almost on a daily basis. Recognizing that we have a common future will be pivotal to tackling the climate challenge. We need to substitute fossil resources with sustainable alternatives to achieve climate neutrality, and from that perspective, Project AIR is a game-changer for the transition of the chemical industry. I am very proud that Uniper is a part of the project, and I’m very grateful that the EU commission and CINEA have acknowledged the potential of Project AIR, said David Bryson, Chief Operating Officer, Uniper.

Funded by revenues from the auction of emission allowances from the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), the EU Innovation Fund aims to create the right financial incentives for companies and public authorities to invest now in the next generation of low-carbon technologies and give EU companies a first-mover advantage to become global technology leaders.

The Innovation Fund is implemented by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), while the European Investment Bank (EIB) provides project development assistance to promising projects that are not sufficiently mature.

CINEA is honoured to welcome Project Air into the Innovation Fund projects family, a portfolio that currently includes 52 projects implemented across 16 countries. CINEA has a long track record of financing infrastructure and innovation projects in support of the European Green Deal’s carbon-neutrality objective. I am confident that projects like Project Air will significantly contribute to our objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and diminishing the EU’s dependency on imported fossil fuels. I look forward to the implementation of this project enabler for the EU chemical industry to become carbon neutral, said Paloma Aba Garrote, Acting Director at CINEA.

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