Masdar's first carbon capture in Abu Dhabi in 2012
*Greenhouse gas emissions from steel plant first target
*Aims to capture 800,000 tonnes in 2008
*CCS pipeline network to be completed by 2015
By Stanley Carvalho
ABU DHABI, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi state-owned Masdar said on Tuesday its first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project would be cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the United Arab Emirates by the end of 2012.
The UAE is one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gas per capita. Abu Dhabi has pumped billions into clean energy initiative Masdar as it looks to both cut emissions and prepare the world's third-largest crude exporter for a future less dependent on supply of oil.
The first CCS project would capture emissions from a new UAE steel plant, said Sam Nader, director of Masdar's carbon management unit told reporters.
"The first capture is 800,000 tonnes from the Emirates Steel plant in 2012," Nader said. "A contract will be awarded this year for the first capture."
By 2014, Masdar would have captured a total of five million tonnes of CO2, he added.
Masdar aims to set up a network of pipelines in the UAE to pump carbon from emitting sites to oilfields, where it would be injected into reservoirs to maintain pressure and increase oil recovery. The network should be completed by 2015, he said.
The first phase of the plan is to capture CO2 from industrial units such as the Emirates Steel plant and from power plants.
Masdar is working closely with state-run Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) to transport and inject CO2 into its oil reservoirs. ADCO runs the onshore crude fields for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
Other emitters that Masdar is targeting for carbon capture are the Emirates Aluminium plant, a gas-fired power station run by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority and also a planned hydrogen power plant it is building with BP (BP.L).
Carbon captured would back carbon credits sold under the UN's clean development mechanism, which allows developing countries to sell emissions reductions from energy intensive industry to help rich countries offset their own contribution to climate change.
The UAE embarked on a CO2 emission reduction programme in 2007. Abu Dhabi aims to slash the emirate's CO2 output by about one-third by 2020 and in doing so to free up more oil for exports.
(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; editing by Simon Webb and Keiron Henderson)
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