Trinidad and Tobago secures first GCF funding for carbon capture and storage

Based on the priorities in the Technology Needs Assessment, Trinidad and Tobago has secured the first ever Green Climate Fund support for a carbon capture and storage project

July 4, 2024

Trinidad and Tobago has secured support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project, marking the first time the GCF has funded such an initiative. This success is informed by a comprehensive Technology Needs Assessment (TNA), conducted in collaboration with the UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre.

The GCF Readiness project, approved in March 2024, aims to further Trinidad and Tobago’s CCS readiness, including assessing storage potential in deep saline formations and creating a national storage atlas. This effort is part of a larger GCF project that also involves Suriname.

Developing a national CCS programme

During the TNA, the government of Trinidad and Tobago began exploring the development of a national CCS programme, focusing on critical aspects such as CO2 source identification, storage estimation, and alignment with national climate policies.

The country collaborated with the University of the West Indies and the University of Trinidad and Tobago, and received support from the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme, the Climate Technology Centre and Network, and the University of Texas to secure the GCF funding.

Additionally, Trinidad and Tobago recently unveiled plans for the University of West Indies and the University of Trinidad and Tobago to establish a research hub focusing on Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS).

Top priority for mitigation in Trinidad and Tobago

Through the TNA process, Carbon Capture and Storage technology was identified as a priority technology for mitigating emissions in the industrial and power sectors, particularly targeting significant emissions from methanol and ammonia production.

Initial prefeasibility studies in 2013 highlighted the potential for CCS implementation, emphasizing the storage capacities of hydrocarbon reservoirs for carbon dioxide. However, Trinidad and Tobago faced financial, regulatory, and technical challenges that needed to be addressed.

The analysis of technical possibilities, barriers, and enablers for deploying CCS technology conducted during the TNA project provided initial pathways to address these challenges, facilitating the subsequent phases that led to GCF funding.

TNA focus on mitigation

Trinidad and Tobago launched its first TNA in 2021, as part of the global TNA project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre.

Trinidad and Tobago stands out from other TNA countries in the region by placing a primary focus on mitigation, while also approaching adaptation in a comprehensive manner to enhance resilience across all sectors. The TNA analyzed specific sectors and technologies outlined in the country’s Carbon Reduction Strategy, to help the country move towards implementation.

The TNA’s mitigation analysis concentrated on three sectors: power generation, industry, and transport, aligning with country’s NDC and its Implementation Plan. Besides carbon capture and storage, the prioritized technologies included utility-scale solar power generation, biofuels for the industry sector, electric vehicles, and ICT for intelligent traffic management systems in transportation.