The Carbon Corner - Issue #80

In today's eco-conscious landscape, industries are embracing innovative solutions to combat climate change and reduce carbon footprints. From energy giants like Rocky Mountain Power implementing carbon capture technology in their coal facilities to toy manufacturing titan Lego doubling down on sustainability investments, businesses worldwide are taking significant steps towards a greener future. Similarly, initiatives like Viridor's carbon capture project at its Runcorn Energy Recovery Facility and Fairway Methanol's certification for low-carbon methanol production underscore a collective commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable practices.

These stories exemplify the diverse efforts across industries to embrace a greener tomorrow.

Rocky Mountain Power's Strategic Shift: Embracing Coal, Renewables, and Carbon Capture

Rocky Mountain Power's recent update to its 2023 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) reveals a significant shift in its approach to coal-fired power plants in Utah and Wyoming. Previously, the plan aimed to retire units at Hunter and Huntington by 2032, but now, they propose returning to the schedule outlined in their 2021 IRP. This means coal burning would continue until 2036 at Huntington and 2042 at Hunter.

The decision was influenced by the EPA's approval of Wyoming's Ozone Transport Rule (OTR) plan and the stay of Utah's disapproval, along with market factors like coal and natural gas prices. Despite a decrease in renewable acquisitions, RMP plans to invest in wind, solar, nuclear, and natural gas resources. Additionally, they intend to implement carbon capture technology at existing coal plants, partnering with 8 Rivers to explore the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle, aiming to reduce carbon emissions. This move signals a nuanced approach to energy transition, balancing traditional resources with emerging technologies to meet sustainability goals effectively.

Building Sustainability: Lego Doubles Down on Emissions Reduction and Material Innovation

Lego Group has unveiled ambitious plans to ramp up its investment in sustainability, aiming to double its annual spending on emissions reduction and sustainability measures by 2025, totaling $1.4 billion. Part of this commitment includes a $2.4 million contract with Climeworks, a Swiss company specializing in technology that filters carbon dioxide emissions from the air. This marks Lego's first foray into carbon removal contracts. Climeworks, known for operating the world's largest direct-air capture facility in Iceland, plans a significant expansion in the U.S., with three DAC proposals already selected for funding by the Department of Energy.

Lego's sustainability strategy extends beyond carbon removal, encompassing initiatives such as renewable energy investments, carbon pricing in key investments, tying executive compensation to emissions reduction performance, and adopting stricter emissions standards for construction. Additionally, Lego is tackling its plastic usage, aiming to produce all products from renewable or recycled materials by 2032, with innovations like bio-polyethylene and recycled artificial marble already in use and plans for further sustainable material development in the pipeline.

Viridor's Carbon Capture Project: Pioneering Sustainable Waste Treatment

Viridor's carbon capture and storage project at its Runcorn Energy Recovery Facility is making significant strides after reaching an agreement with the UK Government's Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). This collaboration, backed by a £500 million investment from Viridor, aims to capture carbon emissions generated from waste treatment, part of the larger HyNet industrial cluster initiative. Shortlisted for the final stage of the UK Government's industrial carbon capture sequencing process, the project aligns with the HyNet ecosystem's goal of decarbonizing through carbon capture and hydrogen technologies.

With plans to capture over 900,000 tonnes of CO2 annually and potentially contributing up to 10% of the UK Government's 2030 negative emissions target, the project holds significant promise. Additionally, it is expected to create over 500 green industrial jobs during construction and over 135 full-time jobs during operation, further stimulating investment in the local area and advancing the region's leadership in carbon capture and storage technologies.

Fairway Methanol: Pioneering Low-Carbon Methanol Production with CCU Certification

Fairway Methanol, a collaboration between Mitsui & Co. and Celanese Corporation, has achieved certification for its low carbon carbon capture and utilization (CCU) methanol, showcasing a remarkable 70% reduction in carbon footprint compared to the global average for fossil-based methanol production, as outlined in EU legislation. Operating one of the largest CCU facilities globally at its Texas site since January 2024, Celanese's project is poised to capture 180,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually while producing 130,000 metric tons of low-carbon methanol. Through CCU, industrial CO2 emissions are converted into methanol using reduced-carbon-intensity hydrogen, thereby mitigating atmospheric emissions. The ISCC CFC certification validates the carbon capture benefits of CCU processes, ensuring transparent accounting and tracking of sustainable feedstocks.

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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