Occidental and BlackRock form JV to develop world’s largest direct air capture plant; $550M investment, 500,000 tonnes of CO2 per year
Occidental recently announced that BlackRock will invest $550 million on behalf of clients in the development of STRATOS, the world’s largest Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility, in Ector County, Texas. Through a fund managed by its Diversified Infrastructure business, BlackRock has signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture with Occidental through its subsidiary 1PointFive that will own STRATOS.
STRATOS is designed to capture up to 500,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Construction activities for STRATOS are approximately 30% complete and the facility is expected to be commercially operational in mid-2025. The project is expected to employ more than 1,000 people during the construction phase and up to 75 once operational.
DAC is a technology that captures and removes large volumes of CO₂ directly from the atmosphere, which can be stored deep underground in geologic formations. STRATOS is expected to provide cost-effective solutions that companies in hard-to-decarbonize industries can use in conjunction with their own emissions reduction programs. To date, 1PointFive has signed CO₂ removal credit purchase agreements with customers, including Amazon, Airbus, All Nippon Airways (ANA), TD Bank Group, the Houston Astros, and the Houston Texans.
Occidental is an international energy company with assets primarily in the United States, the Middle East and North Africa. It is one of the largest oil and gas producers in the US, including a leading producer in the Permian and DJ basins, and offshore Gulf of Mexico.
In August, Occidental entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire all the outstanding equity of direct air capture company Carbon Engineering Ltd. for total cash consideration of approximately $1.1 billion, to be made in three approximately equivalent annual payments, with the first at closing. This transaction is expected to close before the end of 2023, subject to Canadian court reviews, Canadian and US regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Occidental has been working with Carbon Engineering on direct air capture (DAC) deployment since 2019. Acquiring Carbon Engineering aligns with Occidental’s integrated net-zero strategy and provides Occidental, through its 1PointFive subsidiary, the opportunity to rapidly advance DAC technology breakthroughs and accelerate deployment of DAC as a large-scale, cost effective, global carbon removal solution. Carbon Engineering’s DAC-based climate solutions utilize standardized processes and proven industrial equipment.