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Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Capturing CO2 From the Air


Artist’s concept of the planned facility being built at the Port of Caddo-Bossier.

Heirloom Carbon Technologies Inc. facility soon to be built

Heirloom Carbon Technologies Inc. is moving forward with the first phase of a decarbonization project that combines public and private investment to create two direct air capture (DAC) facilities at the Port of Caddo-Bossier.

Construction on the new facility is expected to begin by the end of the year. At the Port, the company is expected to create 81 direct new jobs with average annual salaries of more than $56,000.

Heirloom’s technology enhances the power of limestone to capture CO2 directly from the air. The company estimates it will remove around 17,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually, beginning in 2026.

During the first phase, the company plans to invest $475 million to establish its first DAC facility in Louisiana and second in North America.

Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 188 indirect new jobs, for a total of 269 potential new jobs in the Northwest region. The project is estimated to support more than 1,000 construction jobs.

The second facility is anticipated to be built as part of Project Cypress, utilizing up to $550 million of U.S. Department of Energy funding.

“Heirloom’s selection of the Port of Caddo-Bossier leverages our state’s logistical advantages, established infrastructure and upskilled workforce, underscoring Louisiana’s continued role as a leader in the energy and manufacturing sectors,” LED Secretary Susan B. Bourgeois said. “I welcome Heirloom to Louisiana and look forward to years of partnership and prosperity that will result in opportunities for ever-growing wages in the Northwest region.”

At the end of 2023, Heirloom began operations at North America’s first commercial DAC facility in California, shortly after signing one of the most significant commercial-scale CO2 removal agreements to date with Microsoft.

The Heirloom facility will remove about 17,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually.

The company has also signed deals with Meta, Shopify, JPMorgan, H&M and Autodesk to provide carbon removal.

“Louisiana is the energy capital of the United States and has played a vital role in American energy security,” said Shashank Samala, CEO of Heirloom Carbon Technologies. “With these two facilities in Northwest Louisiana, Heirloom is continuing its rapid progress in building one of the world’s most affordable carbon removal solutions with the ability to scale to remove billions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.”

Limestone is the world’s second most abundant mineral that captures CO2 directly from the air. Limestone is made up of calcium oxide (CaO) and CO2. When CO2 is removed from the limestone, the remaining calcium oxide is hydrated with water to form lime. Lime is “thirsty” for CO2 because it wants to return to a natural limestone state, so it acts like a sponge, pulling CO2 from the atmosphere. Heirloom’s technology accelerates this natural property of limestone, reducing the time it takes to absorb CO2 from years to less than three days. Once the CO2 is absorbed, it is extracted from the limestone material using a renewable energy-powered kiln and stored permanently underground.

Heirloom plans to partner with Capture-Point, a carbon management company, to store the CO2 captured from these facilities in Class VI underground wells at locations to be determined.

“We’re excited to welcome Heirloom, the American leader in Direct Air Capture, to the Port of Caddo-Bossier,” Bill Altimus, Port Commission president, said. “The Port has a long history of birthing innovative industrial technologies, and we are proud to support rapidly growing DAC technology that the Port is uniquely positioned to scale due to our existing carbon management infrastructure and skilled local workforce.”

To support this economic growth, the state of Louisiana offers a $3 million performance-based grant for site infrastructure improvements. If payroll and employment targets are met, the company may qualify for additional state incentives with a potential value of up to $7.8 million over 10 years.

“Innovation is the heartbeat of progress, and we proudly support this groundbreaking technology Heirloom is bringing to North Louisiana,” said Justyn Dixon, North Louisiana Economic Partnership president and CEO. “It is great seeing companies take advantage of the investments made by the Port of Caddo-Bossier, and it reminds us of the urgent need to continue investing for tomorrow’s opportunities. We’re enthusiastic about the momentum in Northwest Louisiana, driven by the adoption of innovative solutions.”

Founded in 2020, Heirloom’s facilities offer the quickest pathway to permanent, low-cost CO2 removal at a billion-ton scale. The company is based in San Francisco. Though the Shreveport-area facility will be its first in Louisiana, Heirloom has another DAC plant up and running in the San Joaquin Valley near Tracy, California. The carbon at that plant is embedded permanently in concrete, which is then used in building projects.


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