Pinpoint Projects

Finding the best decarbonization projects is no longer a needle in the haystack
By Eric Rambech and Valentin Vandenmolden, Co-founders of Endrava | May 04, 2023

Industrial sites generating electricity and manufacturing products account for 60% of the world's CO2 emissions. Endrava, a Norwegian climate-tech company, has developed CaptureMap, an interactive platform that uses public data sources, satellite imagery and advanced algorithms to provide accurate and up-to-date facility-level CO2 information. The tool helps companies identify the most suitable emitters for their CCUS solutions, streamline their sales funnels, and prioritize decarbonization projects.

60% of the world’s CO2 emissions come from large industrial sites generating electricity and making a variety of products. To a growing extent, these sites are looking to CCUS to decarbonize their production and in many cases, they need help to do it. Fortunately, a wide range of product and service companies are now stepping up to help. But with so many sites, how can they focus on the facilities that best align with the CCUS solutions they provide?

To answer that question, these companies need tools for slicing, sorting and filtering data about thousands of different emitters around the world to narrow it down to their best decarbonization opportunities. CaptureMap is a map-based, interactive platform that aims to address that need.

In CaptureMap, Endrava has built an industry database containing individual, facility-level data for more than 15,000 industrial emitters across 156 countries, with a combined volume of nearly 16 gigatons of annual CO2 emissions.

Endrava’s approach starts with a large and growing set of public data sources. The company is a true believer in the powers of public data, especially when combining different datasets. CaptureMap’s primary data sources are typically facility-level reporting into national pollutant registries, but it also relies on analysis of satellite imagery for those regions where facility-level reporting does not exist. Endrava’s hope is that with time, more and more countries will instate reporting requirements for large industrial facilities and share this data openly. It’s important for CO2 emissions, but just as relevant for other pollutants.

The raw datasets are generally decent, but do include reporting errors, wrong coordinates and lagging reporting frequencies, and they all come in different formats. The company therefore developed Endrava’s Emissions Engine to combine, clean, and standardize the datasets, using advanced algorithms to detect outliers, correct location info and harmonize information fields. This enables CaptureMap to show accurate coordinates and a birds-eye view of the sites, distinguish between biogenic and fossil CO2 emissions, provide estimates of most recent emissions and categorize the sites properly and consistently. Results are finally made easily available through the cloud using Microsoft’s PowerBI Platform.

Says Valentin, co-founder of Endrava: “The challenge is not in finding raw data. It is available if you have the IT skills for it. The magic is to make the data accessible: combining it and presenting it in a way that is useful to decision-makers. CaptureMap’s key strength is providing up-to-date, high-quality CO2 information at the facility-level, in an intuitive and highly visual interface.”

With lots of engagement in the CCUS business across North America, CaptureMap to help quantify the market opportunities. As a starting point, CaptureMap contains 7,779 facilities in the U.S. and Canada, with a total of 2.96 billion tons of annual CO2 emissions, of which 139.5 million tons of CO2 are biogenic. This is shown in the first figure. As a solutions provider, it’s impossible to talk to all these sites, so ways are needed to narrow down the search.

Using CaptureMap's filters and slicers, one can chose to selectively focus on the hard-to-abate segments of cement, iron and steel, chemicals, waste-to-energy facilities and refineries. Together these sectors account for 1,734 sites and 640 million tons per year (mtpa). By narrowing down the search further on sites greater than 1 mtpa, 147 sites and 345 mtpa remain. This shortlist, shown in the second figure, includes sites already well known in the CCUS world, such as ExxonMobil’s refinery in Baytown, CF Industries’s Dondalsonville Nitrogen Complex, CEMEX’s cement plant in Balcones, and many others, waiting for CCUS projects coming their way.

CaptureMap is currently used by organizations spanning all parts of the CCUS value chain. Upstream oil and gas, capture technology, energy companies, equipment and engineering, NGOs and universities. Their primary use of CaptureMap is to build, qualify and prioritize sales funnels to build decarbonization projects. But it’s also useful for stakeholder engagement, driving partnership opportunities for synergies of scale and giving input to strategic product and service development.

Aker Carbon Capture, a globally leading carbon capture technology player, is a frequent user of CaptureMap. Jon Christopher Knudsen, CCO at Aker Carbon Capture says: “For our Sales and Business Development activities, CaptureMap is a key tool to identify relevant opportunities in existing and new markets. It offers a visual, intuitive, and effective way of screening large volumes of CO2 globally, helping to drive understanding of all aspects from total emissions across industry segments such as cement, waste-to-energy, blue hydrogen and gas-to-power, to understand the deeper level of details such as the EU ETS exposure of a certain emitter.”

Developing CCUS value chains are long, complex engagements with many stakeholders. Access to transport infrastructure such as pipelines, railways and harbors, in addition to suitable storage reservoirs or utilization options, are also part of the questions that must be answered. That said, identifying the most appropriate CO2 sources is an essential first step. CaptureMap aims to make this step easier. The objective is simple: to enable more CCUS projects in the time to come.

Eric Rambech and Valentin Vandenmolden, Co-founders of Endrava

(Printed in Issue 1, 2022 of Carbon Capture Magazine, View Carbon Capture & Storage Directory)