KU Affairs

Khalifa University in Collaboration with the IEA Organizes The Region’s First-Ever 15th International Virtual Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference

March 15, 2021

Khalifa University of Science and Technology and the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Program (IEAGHG) announced the 15th International Virtual Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT-15) Conference, the biennial international gathering on greenhouse mitigation technologies, opened on 15 March.


The first-ever GHGT conference highlighted the advantages of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies and to discuss current status and future directions for the CCS deployment.


His Excellency Eng  Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) gave the opening remarks, followed by a welcome note delivered by Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Conference Co-Chair, and Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology.


The four-day conference speakers included Kelly Thambimuthu, Chair, IEA Greenhouse Gas (IEAGHG), Bob Dudley, Chairman, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative – OGCI, Tony Espie, Chairman, CO2 Capture Project – CCP, Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Director of Sustainability, Technology & Outlooks, IEA, Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, Chairman, Executive Committee, OGCI, and Roy Vardheim, CEO (Acting), Gassnova.


A total of 355 oral presentations in 71 sessions, six panel discussions, and 254 poster presentations were presented at the GHGT-15, confirming the seven-stream technical program and keynote agendas. Khalifa University had 11 presentations accepted in oral sessions and 10 posters from faculty and students.


His Excellency, Eng. Awaidah Musrshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, delivered the opening keynote where he emphasized the emirate’s commitment to a responsible energy transition and the importance of Carbon Capture Utilization & Storage (known as CCUS) for the sustainability of the UAE and the country’s efforts to find balanced and inclusive solutions to the mixed challenges of energy and climate change.


His Excellency said: “We are committed to developing and implementing cleaner, sustainable energy solutions that can protect our economy, our security and our environment for decades to come. We aim to enable a responsible energy transition that is built around reliability, affordability, security and reduced environmental impact. These are fundamental pillars in our energy policy, and carbon capture and storage will be an important component of our policy moving forward to ensure security of supply in a carbon-constrained environment.


His Excellency added: “Carbon Capture Utilization & Storage is gaining global momentum as a viable, safe and commercially proven technology to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large-scale operations such as oil and gas and heavy industries. Abu Dhabi is capitalizing on CCUS for CO2-enhanced oil recovery and events like GHGT provide an excellent platform to explore how CCUS can help us to take advantage of our vast oil and gas resources while achieving large-scale CO2 reductions and cost efficiencies.”


Dr. Al Hammadi said: “The line-up of renowned speakers and the myriad oral and poster presentations strongly indicate the large-scale virtual participation of scientists, researchers and innovators in carbon capture technologies. We at Khalifa University are proud to bring this high-level conference to the Middle East for the first time. GHGT conference witnesses the submission of 600 papers and highlights the UAE’s active role as a key contributor to carbon mitigation and climate change measures.”


Tim Dixon, Conference Co-Chair, said: “As the premier international conference on carbon capture and storage, (CCS), staff at IEAGHG and the team at Khalifa University have worked incredibly hard to adjust the format to be able provide an engaging and successful platform for this event. This mammoth feat of bringing together and scheduling nearly 600 presentations over the four-day period, will ensure the GHGT authors maintain their platform to share and deliver their results that will provide crucial data and information to the greenhouse gas mitigation audience across the globe.”


The GHGT-15 gains significance because Abu Dhabi is already implementing some of the major CCS projects. According to a Global CCS Institute report, the next few years could feasibly see an unprecedented take-off of CCS in the Middle East, especially in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, perhaps to the point that the region could evolve to be a critical ‘global hotspot’ for CCS. The report adds that as regional interest in low-carbon hydrogen grows, with its vast underground storage potential, abundant natural gas resources and excess production capacity, the Middle East could use its developing CCS expertise and location to develop a clean hydrogen export industry.


A recent analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that CCS deployment will require an investment of around US$9.7 trillion in order to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement goals.


Dr. Mohammad Abu Zahra, conference Technical Co-Chair, explained that GHGT-15 will cover important topics including advances in capture technology development, CCS for industrial sources and hydrogen, and CCS technology assessment, cost and system integration. Other topics include CO2 Utilization for GHG mitigation, Demonstration projects and major national and international CCS research developments and demonstration programs, as well as Developments in other storage options for CO2.


Clarence Michael
English Editor Specialist
15 March 2021