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Major Projects Underway: Carbon Capture and Storage Infrastructure

summit-logo.png EEIA is tracking the enormous potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) to drive a new wave of energy infrastructure construction, especially CO2 pipelines.

It's now happening, with new project announcements seemingly coming weekly. There are several drivers, and chief among them are growing customer demands for lower carbon fuels, power and other products; carbon-intensity criteria considered by financial institutions for new project financing; and new federal subsidies, with tax and financing incentives, for CCS and CO2 infrastructure. We are also seeing global customers for US LNG, especially European, giving preferences in their sourcing decisions based on CCS-abated carbon intensity of the LNG supplier.

Here's a sampler of some current major CCS projects in the works, to give you a sense of the scale we're seeing. While these are some of the biggest projects on the horizon, there are many more at lower investment levels, including projects attached to individual fossil fuel power generating plants.

  • Summit Carbon Solutions CO2 pipeline system: 2,000 miles of 4" to 20" pipe, $4.5 billion investment. The system will collect CO2 from 32 ethanol refineries in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota, transporting to underground storage in North Dakota. Summit is well along in concluding landowner easement agreements in all five states, and filing permit applications to state and federal agencies. See Summit's project briefing here. Summit tells us they would welcome expressions of interest from contractors and suppliers.

  • Heartland Greenway: Navigator CO2 Ventures CO2 Pipeline: 1,300 miles of pipeline, gathering captured CO2 from agricultural, ethanol and industrial sources in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Illinois, and sending it to underground storage in Illinois. While the company has not published investment estimates, a project of this scale will involve multiple billions of dollars. Right-of-way landowner outreach and initial permit applications have been initiated. See Navigator's project briefing here.

  • Exxon Mobil Houston Ship Channel CCS Hub: Proposed $100 billion investment. Exxon is partnering with 10 major Houston companies in refining, chemicals and power generation, including Calpine, Chevron, Dow, INEOS, Linde, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, NRG Energy, Phillips 66 and Valero. See Forbes analysis: "Exxon-Led Carbon Capture Project Is Key To Sustained U.S. Economic Growth". Exxon last week acquired rights via federal auction to substantial acreage in shallow-water areas of the Gulf with tapped out oil and gas wells. They're in close proximity to the Houston Ship Channel, so it's likely they're planning to use them for underground CO2 storage. See S&P Platts report: "Carbon capture plays prominent role in latest Gulf lease auction".

  • Air Products Blue Hydrogen / CCS Project: In Ascension Parish, Louisiana, this $4.5 Billion project will produce "blue" hydrogen from natural gas feedstocks, coupled with CCS; creating 2,000 construction jobs. See the company's project announcement here.

  • Rio Grande LNG, a NextDecade LNG project under development in Brownsville, TX, has applied to FERC to add CCS to the already-approved project, citing that as key to attracting project financing from institutions that favor low-carbon investments, as well as customers looking for low-carbon fuels. It should be noted that FERC's current project evaluation process requires an analysis of projects' greenhouse gas impacts, suggesting we'll see more CCS connected to LNG projects. See S&P Platts report: "Rio Grande LNG seeks FERC nod to add carbon capture to project".

    The drive for lower carbon emissions from both electricity generation and industrial processes, such as ethanol production, guarantees a major role for CCS and CO2 pipelines.

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