CCUS: Creating Business Opportunities Across the Value Chain

Posted January 10, 2024 | Sustainability |
CCUS: Creating Business Opportunities Across the Value Chain

Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) is widely accepted as a viable technology approach for decarbonization. Its potential has been recognized and endorsed by the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as an essential part of the transition to net zero. Importantly, it also creates a range of transformative opportunities for businesses across the value chain. This Advisor explores those opportunities, with a focus on Europe.

CCUS as Business Opportunity

In addition to emissions reduction across Europe, CCUS offers a range of business opportunities to players across the value chain:

  • Capture. Responsible for 50%-66% of total carbon-capture and sequestration costs, the capture market requires significant capital investment but offers the highest revenue potential. Opportunities include designing and building CO2-capture infrastructure, operating and maintaining these facilities, and providing trading services for CO2 commodities and allowances under the European Union Allowance (EUA).

  • Transport. Distributing CO2 via pipeline, truck, or ship (or offering an end-to-end transport/distribution service) provides the smallest relative economic potential, but investment costs are low.

  • Storage. The design, building, and operation of CO2 storage facilities requires significant investment, particularly if storage is offshore.

  • Usage. Providing CO2 to customers as an alternative to storing it opens new revenue opportunities.

  • CCUS as a service. Rather than focusing on individual parts of the value chain, players can manage the entire upstream, midstream, and downstream lifecycle, a significant opportunity.

The CCUS Value Chain

Given its accelerating growth, the total European market for CCUS is expected to be between €10-€12 billion (US $10.5-$12.6 billion) by 2030 (according to Arthur D. Little analysis based on conservative predictions of 102 megatons of capacity). The CCUS value chain brings together a wide variety of players across its different stages, and unlocking individual opportunities and accelerating the ecosystem requires every player to understand the specific challenges they face.

Key players in the CCUS value chain include:

  • Capture. Companies in this space are either energy-intensive industries/power plant operators looking to apply carbon capture to decarbonize their assets or energy utilities serving as an enabler/service provider to customers. Successful players are likely to have strong B2B/industrial customer relationships, allowing them to offer capture as part of an integrated energy strategy.

  • Transport. These players are usually infrastructure operators (e.g., gas distribution/transmission system operators) aiming to handle the transport and logistics of CO2 onshore and offshore, either via pipelines or truck/ship. This space is best suited to companies that have infrastructure in place and already operate in adjacent areas.

  • Storage/usage. Storage opportunities abound, especially for oil and gas companies with a combination of project management capabilities and access to storage sites like depleted gas fields. Suppliers must build relationships with companies looking to incorporate captured carbon in novel products, such as e-fuels or green building materials.

  • Enablers. These include companies that can provide technologies and services (e.g., plant engineering or maritime logistics) that act cross-functionally on all levels of the CCUS value chain, along with suppliers of products and services and policymakers that can shape the role and market uptake of CCUS. Success as an enabler requires building effective partnerships with players across the value chain and strong project management capabilities.

[For more from the authors on this topic, see: “Carbon Capture, Utilization & Storage: Bridging the Gap.”]

About The Author
Martin Dix
Martin Dix is a Senior Consultant at Arthur D. Little (ADL) for the Energy & Utilities practice in Central Europe. With a passion for global energy transition, his focus is on identifying innovative decarbonization techniques, including carbon capture, storage, and usage (CCUS), hydrogen, and increased sustainability. Mr. Dix works closely with clients to craft customized strategies, ensuring smooth integration within their organizations via… Read More
Oliver Golly
Oliver Golly is a Partner at Arthur D. Little (ADL) and Co-Lead of ADL’s Energy & Utilities practice in Central Europe. He has 20+ years’ experience in various executive roles within the energy industry and strategic consulting. Mr. Golly’s key areas of expertise include growth strategy, market entry, new energy solutions, sustainability and renewables strategy, hydrogen strategy, deal value creation, partnerships, M&As, innovation… Read More