Rolls-Royce ditches carbon capture work as new boss streamlines business

Rolls-Royce has scrapped a substantial portion of its carbon capture operations as its new CEO’s streamlining programme moves up a gear.

Sky News reports that the Derby engineering giant has dropped its work on creating a direct air capture (DAC) product and moved it staff working on the project to other areas of the business.

However, Rolls will continue to work on a government-funded research programme around DAC, which involves extracting carbon from the air to combine it with hydrogen to create synthetic fuel.

A Rolls-Royce spokesperson said: “We will fulfil our UK government-funded programme to build and test a direct air capture (DAC) prototype in Derby, and expect to complete that work in 2024.

“Separate exploratory work to develop a DAC product has stopped.

“We are currently exploring how we can capitalise on the valuable work we have done to date on that part of the project.”

The news comes just two weeks after Rolls announced that it was closing its London-based R² Factory, the spin-out of its Data Labs business.

The company said its underlying operating profit guidance of £0.8-£1.0bn and free cash flow guidance of £0.6-£0.8bn in 2023 is unchanged.

Chief executive Tufan Erginbilgic said: “We are transforming Rolls-Royce into a high quality and competitive business with a strong balance sheet and growing profit, cash flows and returns.

“We are already benefitting from the actions we are taking as well as recovery and growth in our end markets. We announced several changes to the executive team in March to support the transformation, adding leaders with proven track records of delivery and high-performance. We are making good progress and our financial performance year-to-date is in line with expectations.”