The world’s largest facility dedicated to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is set to come online tomorrow in Iceland, a major milestone for the nascent direct air capture industry.
Constructed by the Swiss company Climeworks AG with support from Microsoft Corp., Swiss Re and other prominent corporate customers, the landmark facility is expected to pull 4,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air annually and store it permanently underground. The plant is named “Orca,” which means “energy” in Icelandic, and is roughly 20 miles southeast of the capital, Reykjavík.
If it works as planned, the plant would increase the world’s direct air capture capacity by more than 40%, to 13,000 metric tons.
That is less than 1% of the annual emissions of a single coal-fired power plant, according to EPA emissions data and an International Energy Agency report on the technology. The…