Carbon Capture and Storage Projects Awarded USD 1 Billion

Jun 20th, 2010 | By | Category: Climate Change

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced June 10th that it had awarded more than USD 600 million in grants to demonstrate large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) from three industrial sources. The projects were identified as the most promising of twelve industrial CCS projects that were originally selected for evaluation in October 2009. The DOE grants will be supplemented with USD 368 million in private funding.

The projects seek to test large-scale industrial carbon capture and storage, an important step in moving CCS technology toward eventual commercial deployment. The selected projects include large-scale applications that capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial sources and either store it in a deep saline formation or use it for enhanced oil recovery.

Benefits

According to the DOE, the selected projects are expected to

  • capture and store 6.5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of removing nearly one million cars from the road; and
  • increase domestic production of oil by more than 10 million barrels per year by the end of the demonstration period in September 2015.

“Capturing carbon emissions and storing them underground is a crucial technology as we build a clean energy future and address the threat of climate change,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “These investments will create jobs and help ensure that America can lead the world in the clean energy economy.” The Obama Administration has established a goal of developing cost-effective deployment of CCS within ten years and seeks to bring five to ten commercial demonstration projects into operation by 2016.

Critics argue that CCS methodologies have severe limitations, including high energy demand. By some estimates, up to twenty percent of the electricity generated by a power plant could be consumed in operating its CCS system. Also, as Marc Gunther points out in his blog, “…these subsidies don’t appear to be linked to actual tons of carbon sequestered. They support demonstration projects. Still to be determined are such issues as who ‘owns’ the store [sic] CO2, who will be responsible, financially, if it escapes, etc.”

Site Selections

  •  Leucadia Energy, LLC (Lake Charles, Louisiana) – Leucadia and Denbury Onshore LLC will capture and sequester 4.5 million tons of CO2 per year from a new methanol plant in Lake Charles, LA. The CO2 will be delivered via a 12-mile connector pipeline to an existing Denbury interstate CO2 pipeline and sequestered via use for enhanced oil recovery in the West Hastings oilfield, starting in April 2014. The project team includes Leucadia Energy, Denbury, General Electric, Haldor Topsoe, Black & Veatch, Turner Industries, and the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology.  (DOE share: $260 million)
  • Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (Port Arthur, Texas) – Air Products will partner with Denbury Onshore LLC to capture and sequester one million tons of CO2 per year from existing steam-methane reformers in Port Arthur, Texas, starting in November 2012. The CO2 will be delivered via a 12-mile connector pipeline to an existing Denbury interstate CO2 pipeline and sequestered via use for enhanced oil recovery in the West Hastings oilfield. The project team includes Air Products & Chemicals, Denbury Onshore LLC, the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, and Valero Energy Corporation.  (DOE share: $253 million)
  • Archer Daniels Midland Corporation (Decatur, Illinois) – The project will capture and sequester one million tons of CO2 per year from an existing ethanol plant in Illinois, starting in August 2012. The CO2 will be sequestered in the Mt. Simon Sandstone, a well-characterized saline reservoir located about one mile from the plant. The project team includes Archer Daniels Midland, Schlumberger Carbon Services, and the Illinois State Geological Survey. (DOE share: $99 million)

 Additional Information

About the Author

Michael Bittner is an associate partner in the Boston, U.S.A. office of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) and editor of the EHS Journal. He has more than 20 years of experience in the EHS field, including 17 years of EHS consulting experience and four years as the corporate environmental manager for a U.S. Department of Defense contractor. Mr. Bittner specializes in global EHS solutions including

  • Compliance and management systems auditing.
  • EHS management systems implementation and design.
  • Sustainability solutions.
  • Strategic planning.
  • Mergers and acquisitions support.

Photograph:   Autumn by Stefan Gustafsson, Stockholm, Sweden. http://stefangustafsson.com/

Return to the EHS Journal Home Page.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Comment