The Carbon Corner - Issue #57

In the dynamic realm of environmental sustainability, carbon capture and storage has emerged as a vital tool in combatting carbon emissions and addressing climate change. Recent developments have seen both companies and nations taking significant steps in advancing CCS technology and initiatives. In today's issue of The Carbon Corner, we'll delve into three compelling stories that illuminate the progress and obstacles within the world of carbon capture and storage.

Texas Ventures into Undersea Carbon Storage: A New Frontier in Climate Action

Texas, historically a hub for oil and gas extraction, is now shifting its focus to undersea carbon storage. The General Land Office (GLO) in Texas is offering offshore leases to oil and gas companies willing to bury carbon dioxide deep beneath the seafloor. This move is part of a competition for a share of the $12-billion federal funding under the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Companies are not only building carbon capture plants near onshore polluting facilities but also applying for offshore leases to store carbon dioxide, receiving tax credits for every ton stored.

The GLO has already awarded its first carbon sequestration lease near Port Arthur to Talos Energy, with Chevron having a stake in the project. Additionally, six more offshore leases have been granted, generating significant revenue for the state's school fund. However, critics are concerned about the efficacy of carbon capture technology, as many projects have underperformed or failed globally. Leakage and pipeline safety are significant concerns, with the potential for carbon dioxide to migrate and cause environmental issues.

Some worry that the push for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Texas could prolong the fossil fuel industry's lifespan rather than facilitate a transition to cleaner energy sources. Despite these concerns, proponents argue that CCS is a valuable tool in addressing greenhouse gas emissions. However, the debate continues, with questions about the regulatory authority and liability for CCS projects in Texas. The state's rich history in oil and gas extraction is now evolving towards a new era of carbon storage beneath the Gulf of Mexico's seafloor.

Lotte Chemical and SK Innovation Forge Partnership for Carbon Capture Innovation

Lotte Chemical Corp., SK Innovation Co., and SK IE Technology Co. (SK IET) have announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate in the carbon capture market. Under this MOU, the companies will work together to develop and invest in carbon capture technologies, specifically focusing on high-performance separator membranes. They will also explore various applications for these technologies.

SK Innovation and SK IET have been actively entering the carbon capture, utilization, and storage market, with plans to achieve "All Time Net Zero" by 2062. Last year, they jointly invested in Air Rane, a gas separator membrane developer, to advance carbon separation and capture technologies. Lotte Chemical has been operating a carbon capture demonstration facility since 2021, aiming to design a commercial carbon capture process for gas separator membranes. The MOU aims to leverage SK Innovation's R&D capabilities, SK IET's separator membrane technology, and Lotte Chemical's carbon capture expertise to create synergy in the pursuit of carbon capture solutions.

Eni Partners with HyNet North West to Advance Carbon Capture and Storage in the UK

Eni, an Italian multinational energy company, has entered into an agreement with Britain's HyNet North West to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. This move is seen as a significant step toward establishing a new industry in the UK that will play a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions. The partnership aims to make the HyNet North West project operational by the mid-2020s, with an initial storage capacity of around 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year, with potential to remove up to 10 million tonnes annually after 2030.

Eni also plans to establish a second CCS hub in Britain, targeting the decarbonization of the Bacton Energy Hub and the Thames Estuary region. The company has secured a license to store CO2 in the depleted Hewett gas field in the southern North Sea. Furthermore, Eni is actively pursuing CCS projects in Italy in collaboration with Snam to achieve a total annual storage capacity of 30 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030. This expansion includes projects in Libya, Australia, and Egypt, indicating a commitment to addressing carbon emissions on a global scale.

Heidelberg Materials Initiates Pilot Carbon Capture Project in Bulgaria

Heidelberg Materials has commenced construction on a pilot carbon capture installation at its Devnya plant in Bulgaria, a significant milestone in the company's ANRAV project. This project marks the first full-chain carbon capture, utilization, and storage endeavor in Eastern Europe, covering the entire process from capture to geological storage and utilization.

The OxyCal technology being trialed in Devnya involves adding pure oxygen to the clinker burning process, resulting in a CO2-rich flue gas suitable for reuse or safe storage. The pilot aims to demonstrate the efficiency and scalability of this technology for ANRAV CCUS and other projects within the group. The pilot is expected to run for 12 to 24 months, gathering crucial operational data. ANRAV, with potential operation starting in 2028, has a capturing capacity of 800,000 tonnes of CO2 annually and has received support from the EU Innovation Fund, totaling €190 million.

Denmark and Netherlands Join Forces for Carbon Capture and Storage Partnership

Denmark and the Netherlands have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on carbon capture and storage (CCS) and CO2 transport. This agreement aims to facilitate the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and its storage underground, helping the EU achieve its climate goals.

The EU Commission has set a target of 50 million tonnes of annual carbon dioxide injection capacity by 2030. The MoU allows for the transport of CO2 between the two countries, which can then be stored in empty oil and gas fields within their exclusive economic zones in the North Sea. Denmark and the Netherlands have also cooperated in green hydrogen projects, emphasizing the importance of collaboration to meet EU climate objectives. Both countries advocate for phasing out all fossil fuels, with the Netherlands calling for the EU to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.

Navigator CO2 Cancels Ambitious Midwest CO2 Pipeline Project Amid Regulatory Challenges

Navigator CO2, a carbon management specialist, has canceled its ambitious 1,300-mile carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline project in the Midwest. The project aimed to transport and sequester up to 15 million metric tonnes of CO2 annually across five Midwest states. The company cited the unpredictable nature of regulatory and government processes, particularly in South Dakota and Iowa, as the reason for the cancellation. Earlier this year, the project was denied a permit in South Dakota, following a unanimous vote by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.

Navigator CO2 is not alone in facing permit struggles for CO2 pipeline projects in the Midwest; Summit Carbon Solutions, with a similar project spanning five states, had to submit a revised permit application in North Dakota due to concerns related to property values, safety, and more. These challenges highlight the complexities of implementing large-scale carbon capture and storage initiatives.

Schaper Energy Consulting is a professional engineering firm offering carbon strategy services to CCS site developers. Check out some examples of our projects here:

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We hope you enjoyed reading this week and hope to see you back next week for more!

Schaper Energy Consulting

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