The Carbon Corner - Issue #62

The global focus on climate change and environmental sustainability has never been more pronounced, driving countries, corporations, and organizations worldwide to seek innovative solutions for reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to eco-friendly practices. This series of recent news articles explores the latest advancements in carbon capture and storage.

Highlights include Heidelberg Materials' pioneering "evoZero" brand, aiming to market carbon-neutral cement through the utilization of CCS technology. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is embarking on its inaugural CCUS project, in collaboration with energy giant BP, demonstrating the nation's dedication to carbon emission reduction and net-zero goals. Meanwhile, the UK's Harbour Energy is making significant strides with the Viking Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project, a pivotal contribution to the fight against climate change. Additionally, we delve into the dynamic landscape of carbon capture initiatives in North America, encompassing ambitious proposals, operational ventures, and the ongoing debate surrounding the role of carbon removal technologies in the energy transition.

These stories underscore the increasing momentum behind carbon capture technologies, offering the potential to reshape industries and decarbonize energy production.

Commonwealth LNG Partners with OnStream CO2 for Carbon Capture at Louisiana Facility

Commonwealth LNG has partnered with OnStream CO2 LLC for a carbon capture and storage solution at its LNG facility in Cameron, Louisiana. This collaboration, detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding, involves OnStream CO2 designing and operating CO2 capture equipment near the LNG site, with captured CO2 being sequestered at the Cameron Parish CO2 Hub for 20 years.

The Carbonvert-Castex joint venture, which includes OnStream CO2, recently secured an agreement with Louisiana for a significant offshore land tract for CO2 storage. The final investment decision for the Commonwealth LNG project is expected in the first half of 2024, with an innovative modular construction approach speeding up the process.

Wolf Carbon Solutions Withdraws Carbon Capture Pipeline Permit Application in Illinois

Wolf Carbon Solutions has recently retracted its permit application in Illinois for a carbon capture pipeline, capable of transporting 12 million tons of CO2 annually from Iowa to Illinois. This decision reflects the broader challenges faced by carbon capture pipeline projects, like those from Navigator CO2 Ventures and Summit Carbon Solutions.

Specifically, Wolf's pipeline was planned to transport CO2 from ADM's Iowa ethanol plants to a storage site in Decatur, Illinois. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) staff had previously advised against granting the permit, citing a lack of a definitive agreement with ADM. Despite this setback, Wolf's U.S. President Dean Ferguson announced plans to refile the application in early 2024, maintaining commitment to the project. Additionally, resistance from landowners and environmental groups has been a significant hurdle, with concerns over eminent domain, carbon leakage, and agricultural impact. However, the ethanol industry remains optimistic about CCS technology, seeing it as essential for reducing emissions and potentially providing feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel.

Debate Rages Over Carbon Capture: Fossil Fuel Industry vs. Renewable Transition

Oil and gas producer Occidental Petroleum is building a massive facility in Texas to capture 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, backed by investments from BlackRock. In Louisiana, a consortium, including Swiss firm Climeworks, is planning a similar facility to capture one million metric tons of CO2 per year with support from U.S. government grants. The key difference between these projects lies in their intended use of the captured carbon. Occidental plans to inject some of it into oil fields to boost pressure and increase crude production, while Climeworks and its partner Heirloom advocate for storing carbon underground while transitioning to renewable energy.

This reflects a global debate over the role of carbon removal technologies in addressing climate change. The 28th United Nations climate change conference in Dubai is set to address this issue, with some advocating for carbon removal as a means to reduce emissions from fossil fuels rather than phasing out fossil fuels entirely. The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently criticized the oil and gas industry for over-relying on carbon capture, sparking tension among proponents of different approaches.

Direct air capture (DAC) technology is expensive and unproven at scale, with high energy requirements. While DAC and carbon capture and storage projects are emerging, their financial viability remains uncertain. The IEA estimates that DAC needs to capture one billion metric tons annually by 2050 to meet decarbonization targets. Some argue that DAC projects should focus on generating revenue by marketing carbon removal credits to corporations and governments aiming to offset emissions instead of using captured carbon to support fossil fuel production.

Pathways Alliance Gains Confidence in World's Largest Carbon Capture Project

The Pathways Alliance, a consortium of major Canadian oilsands companies, is increasingly optimistic about proceeding with the construction of a $16.5-billion carbon capture and storage network, aiming to reduce emissions from oilsands operations in northern Alberta. While the group has not yet made a final investment decision, it has invested approximately $80 million in preliminary engineering, design, and environmental work for the project.

Last week, the federal government in Canada provided further details about its carbon capture investment tax credit and pledged up to $7 billion for special contracts to encourage companies to make substantial investments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Pathways President Kendall Dilling expressed growing confidence, stating that the consortium plans to seek regulatory approval for the project in the coming months. The members of Pathways, including Suncor Energy, Imperial Oil, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Cenovus Energy, MEG Energy, and ConocoPhillips Canada, have collectively committed to reducing the sector's emissions by 22 million tonnes by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Harbour Energy Advances Viking Carbon Capture and Storage Pipeline Project in the UK

Harbour Energy, the operator of the proposed Viking Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project in eastern England, has announced that the UK's Planning Inspectorate will evaluate its application to construct a 55-kilometer onshore pipeline. This pipeline is intended to transport carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from the Immingham industrial area to the former Theddlethorpe gas terminal site on the Lincolnshire coast. Subsequently, the CO2 will be transported 140 kilometers to the depleted Viking gas fields, located 2.7 kilometers beneath the seabed, for permanent storage.

The application's submission to the Inspectorate marks the next step in the process of obtaining a development consent order for the pipeline. This follows a series of consultations and engagement efforts with relevant stakeholders and parties involved in the project. The Viking CCS project is a significant initiative aimed at reducing carbon emissions by capturing and storing CO2 from industrial processes, contributing to the UK's efforts to combat climate change.

Heidelberg Materials Launches evoZero: Carbon-Neutral Cement with Carbon Capture Technology

Heidelberg Materials, one of the world's largest cement producers, has introduced a new brand called "evoZero" to market carbon-neutral cement. This move relies on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, a significant advancement in one of the most carbon-intensive industries. The evoZero cement will be made available throughout Europe, with a pre-selling phase currently underway. Heidelberg Materials aims to play a pioneering role in the decarbonization of the construction materials sector by embracing CCS technology at scale.

The company's key CCS project is located in Brevik, Norway, where it utilizes the technology to capture 400,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, effectively capturing half of the plant's emissions. Heidelberg Materials sees this as a significant shift toward more sustainable cement production, addressing the industry's substantial carbon footprint. CEO Dominik von Achten expressed enthusiasm for the breakthrough technology and its potential to revolutionize the building materials sector's decarbonization efforts.

Indonesia Launches First Carbon Capture Project with BP to Advance Net-Zero Goals

Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, has initiated construction on its first carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) project, which will be operated by BP, a major energy supermajor. The project, inaugurated by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, will have the capacity to store up to 1.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide (CO2), as stated by Indonesia's Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif. The first injection of carbon in the CCUS project is anticipated in 2026, with BP estimated to invest $2.6 billion in the facility.

In September, BP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indonesian companies to explore a CCUS value chain and collaborative solutions for decarbonizing gas power plants in Indonesia. CCUS and carbon capture and storage (CCS) are vital strategies for reducing carbon emissions and achieving Indonesia's net-zero goals. Indonesia recently launched a $20 billion renewable energy plan to cut emissions and increase the share of renewables in its energy mix.

Last year, Indonesia, the world's top coal exporter, entered an agreement to launch a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) co-led by the U.S. and Japan, along with other countries. Under this partnership, Indonesia aims to have renewable energy generation account for at least 34% of all power generation by 2030, doubling the current deployment of renewables over the decade. To make this shift from coal, Indonesia needs substantial investment, with half of the $20 billion required pledged by wealthy international partners in the JETP, and the other half expected from major banks under the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.

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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