The world’s largest carbon capture facility Petra Nova is getting a second chance after being shut down in 2020.
Petra Nova is considered to be one of the industry’s most monumental failures and is often used by critics of carbon capture technology as an example of why this climate solution is ineffective.
The carbon capture plant that cost a whopping $1 billion to build was designed to capture the CO2 emissions from an NRG Energy Inc. coal-fired power unit in Texas.
Now, almost three years after the facility was officially shut down, JX Nippon has taken on the task of giving it a new lease on life after repairs are finished by NRG in June this year.
Back when it was still operational, the emissions that were captured by the Petra Nova plant were shipped to an oil field, where they were injected to pump more crude oil – a process known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR).
Petra Nova was in operation for a total of three years and was the leading facility of its kind by amount of CO2 captured per year.
However, in 2020, plummeting oil prices abruptly made the project economically unfeasible, and the owners were forced to shut it down.
At the end of 2022, JX Nippon acquired a 50% stake from NRG for $3.6 million, which now renders the Japanese company the plant’s sole owner.
Now JX Nippon aims to gain more technical knowledge of the process of capturing point source CO2 emissions in order to help its Tokyo-based parent company Eneos Holdings Inc. achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.
Of course, the feasibility of the carbon capture plant in Texas will continue to depend on oil prices moving forward.