"Orca" is the name of Climeworks' new direct air capture and storage plant in Iceland. It will take carbon dioxide removal to the next level: it combines Climeworks' direct air capture technology with the underground storage of carbon dioxide provided by Carbfix on a much larger scale, capturing 4'000 tons of CO₂ per year. By capturing 4'000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, it will be the world's biggest climate-positive facility to date.
The construction of Orca in the Geothermal Park in Hellisheidi, Iceland, is well underway! Now, all eight collector containers of the Orca plant have been mounted.
The collector containers are the heart of our plant: this is where the two-step process to capture CO₂ from the air takes place. Having all eight collector containers mounted marks and important milestone in the consrtuction of Orca, as this is the starting point for all outside installations. The next step will be to assemble the interconnecting piping to our process unit to prepare for the most complex step of the construction process — the installation of the process unit itself.
The construction of Orca on the geothermal parc in Hellisheidi in Iceland is well underway. The plant is expected to be in operation in late summer 2021. Orca demonstrates that Climeworks is able to scale carbon dioxide removal capacity by a factor of around 80 in 3-4 years. These developments will lead to several million tons of direct air capture and storage capacity by the end of this decade.
The construction of Orca comprises two phases: phase one, including the infrastructure and foundation for the new technology generation, has been completed successfully. Phase two has now started: it involves the installation of the plant and the machinery.
Orca consists of four plants that consist of two collector containers. In this picture, we see the second collector container being put on top of the first one.
Here's our CO₂ liquefaction equipment being installed. We use this equipment so that the CO₂ can be liquefied for further purification or easier transportation.
This equipment sits inside our process hall, right next to the collectors outside.
This shot shows the cooling water pipes and hot water pipes that run from the Hellisheiði geothermal power plant to our process hall.
Notice the thick insulation around the pipes to protect them from the extreme temperatures in Iceland.
Climeworks continues to make large-scale carbon dioxide removal a reality with the rapid construction of its new direct air capture and storage plant Orca.
The construction of Orca has just started: it will take six months and comprises two phases. Phase one has started in 2020 and was finalized in January 2021. It includes the infrastructure and the foundation for the new generation of Climeworks' CO₂ collectors.
Read the full press release here.
Climeworks has signed groundbreaking agreements with both Carbfix, carbon storage pioneers, and ON Power, the Icelandic geothermal energy provider, to lay the foundation for a new plant that will significantly scale-up carbon removal and storage in Iceland.
Climeworks’ agreement with Carbfix ensures the safe storage of the CO₂ through underground mineralization. The underground basaltic rock formations in Iceland provide the ideal conditions for this process, providing a permanent solution for CO₂ storage. The energy required to run the direct air capture process comes from purely renewable resources and is supplied by ON Power, operating the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant.
Orca was designed in a way to express the positive and synergetic combination of nature, natural processes as well as technology. We chose earthy colours and natural materials that give Orca a natural touch, emphasizing our commitment to a positive industry.