Carbon capture and storage infrastructure in the US is expanding. Summit Carbon Solutions – a newly found carbon capture company owned by Bruce Rastetter’s Summit Agricultural Group, is proposing to build one of the world’s largest carbon capture pipelines. It is 2,000-mile long and links 32 ethanol plants in five states throughout the US.
It will require a $4.5 billion carbon capture investment and would capture 12 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. That amount equals taking 2.6 million vehicles off the road. The project would also create up to 17,000 construction jobs and between 350 and 460 permanent jobs. The regulatory approval for construction is expected to come in 2023 and operations to begin in 2024.
The 32 ethanol plants that are projected to be linked are located in the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota. The proposed pipeline will be laid in the counties of Redwood, Chippewa, and Yellow Medicine. It will transport the compressed CO2 emissions to North Dakota where they will be injected into underground rock formations for permanent storage.
The part going through Yellow Medicine County would run an estimated 15.6 miles and go under the Minnesota River. It will be placed a minimum of 25 feet under the river using horizontal directional drilling technology for a distance of about 800 feet.
Potential Impact Of The Carbon Capture And Storage Pipeline
According to the company, the carbon sequestration pipeline is expected to reduce the ethanol plant’s carbon footprint by as much as 50% and produce a low-carbon ethanol fuel that could be sold in states like California with low-emissions standards. That would aid the country’s carbon dioxide removal efforts to cut greenhouse gases in half by 2030.
Part of the project will be financed by the federal 45Q carbon capture tax credit. Its economics are also based on the fact that the ethanol fuel produced will be marketed to the states like California, Washington, and Oregon that have adopted low-carbon fuel standards. Minnesota is also expected to consider the standards.
There are also proposals in Congress to raise the 45Q carbon capture tax credit to $80 and to extend the life of the program. The credit enjoys bipartisan support.
The next step for Summit Carbon Solutions is to hold informational meetings in each county where the property rights are affected as the proposed project is classified as a hazardous liquid pipeline. The company will also send letters to landowners potentially affected by the project.
The new carbon capture and storage pipeline is one of the world’s biggest infrastructures of this kind that would help accelerate the adoption of carbon capture technology and reduce emissions of heavy emitters.
Ultimately, without the infrastructure, current emissions from industrial production would carry on entering the atmosphere which would limit any chances of reaching the Paris Agreement targets.