As carbon capture infrastructure continues to grow, the US Department of Energy is preparing to help the market scale up. DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) in partnership with the Loan Programs Office, offers access to capital for large-capacity, common-carrier carbon dioxide transport projects. The projects include pipelines, rail, shipping, and other transport methods that are shared.
The available capital is allocated from the Carbon Dioxide Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (CIFIA), as incorporated into and enacted under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021.
CIFIA’s capital that can be provided to eligible projects is $2.1 billion which will be appropriated to DOE in annual increments between 2022 and 2026.
Potential applicants to CIFIA can request a no-fee, no-commitment pre-application consultation with DOE to discuss the program. The deadline to request a consultation is Tuesday, January 17.
The goal of the program is to help the market overcome important chicken-and-egg challenges and barriers that are normally faced by such critical national infrastructure. Some of those challenges are high capital costs, and short-term demand and utilization uncertainty, so they require Federal, state, and local government support along with private investment to be dealt with.
Some of the criteria for eligibility include that the projects must have total costs greater than $100 million, be located in the United States, and have a reasonable prospect of repaying its CIFIA loan from project cashflows.
A detailed CIFIA Program Guidance is also published on the government website.