Carbon capture and storage projects have the potential to help address global climate change while also creating good paying jobs and growing the economy. This technology, which has been proven over decades, captures carbon dioxide that is produced from power generation or other industrial processes and prevents it from being emitted into the atmosphere. Summit Carbon Solutions’ recently announced carbon capture and storage project is expected to be operational in 2024 and will be the largest of its kind in the world. We anticipate it will capture, transport, and permanently store 12 million tons of CO2 every year while creating thousands of jobs across the Midwest.
How much is Summit Carbon Solutions investing in order to build its carbon capture and storage project?
Summit Carbon Solutions and our partners plan to invest approximately $4.5 billion to build our proposed carbon capture and storage project.
While there are variables when it comes to a project of this size, particularly one that requires permits at the federal, state, and local levels, we anticipate construction will begin in 2023 and conclude in 2024.
Summit Carbon Solutions’ project will capture carbon dioxide at more than 30 facilities across the Midwest and then transport it through a pipeline to North Dakota where it will be stored. North Dakota has some of the most abundant, safest geological storage potential in the United States.
Summit Carbon Solutions’ project will be located in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. We have more than 30 industrial facilities that we are partnering with across these five states, and once the project is fully developed it will be capable of capturing and permanently storing 12 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
This project will be safe both during construction and once it is operational. Carbon capture and storage projects are already operational at more than 40 ethanol plants across the United States. In fact, commercial scale capture and compression dates back to the 1990s.
These projects, along with Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposed investment, utilize proven technology that is safe for landowners and the communities where they live, work, and raise their families. The U.S. Department of Transportation regulates pipelines that are used to transport carbon dioxide and there have been no major safety incidents reported after decades of use. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates the geologic storage of CO2.
More broadly, the safety of our operations, our employees, and the communities where we operate is the foundation of Summit Carbon Solutions’ business. As the project is constructed, we will utilize the latest and most reliable technologies and materials. Moreover, as we hire contractors to work on this project, we will carefully review all safety records and only hire those who meet the highest standards of excellence.
No. Carbon capture and storage projects, including CO2 pipelines, have been in use for decades, utilizing proven technology that is safe for animals and crops.
In the very unlikely event that a leak occurs in the pipeline, our alert system will immediately notify us, and our engineering and safety teams will respond right away to address the issue.
Once Summit Carbon Solutions connects its current group of 30 biorefinery partners, the company will be able to build on its infrastructure to capture and store CO2 at manufacturing facilities in other industries as well. However, we are not able to make any commitments on future expansions at this time.
In the unlikely event that there is damage to a property, we will pay the landowner for any necessary repairs. Given our strong commitment to safety and quality, we do not envision there will be issues during the construction phase or once the project is in operation, but we will always work in good faith with our landowner partners.
The proposed minimum depth of burial is 48" (top of pipe). Summit will work with landowners to place the pipe lower to accommodate other infrastructure or land features.
The mainline pipeline is being designed with a range of wall thickness from 0.189 inches to 0.750 inches thick and will be constructed with high-strength steel. The pipeline system will run approximately 2,000 miles in total with the ability to transport up to 12-million-tons of CO2 per year. The diameter of the pipeline/pipeline system will likely range from four to 24 inches.
How will Summit Carbon propose to cross roads, rivers, creeks, streams, and other utility infrastructure?
Three primary crossing methods will be employed: open cut (trench), boring (similar elevation), and horizontal directional drill (HDD). The method employed will be dependent upon permitting requirements, construction best practices, below grade obstructions and impediments, and other details of each specific crossing location. Crossing existing infrastructure will also be compliant with crossing agreements executed with each operating entity.
First and foremost, Summit will comply with the extensive requirements of Chapter 9 of the Iowa Utility Board’s rules, relating to land restoration, including temporary and permanent tile repairs. Summit will work with each individual landowner to complete agreed upon modifications to existing drain tile prior to mobilization of pipeline construction contractors. If these modifications are not practical, the company will work with each pipeline construction contractor to provide resources to complete temporary and/or permanent repair of all damaged drain tile as soon as reasonably practical following installation of the pipeline. Summit will work with each landowner to utilize their preferred drain tile contractor should they meet minimum qualifications. In addition, Ellingson, an expert tile contractor with significant experience in Iowa, has been contracted to ensure tile is handled and repaired correctly.
Crop damage will be determined by the average of yields over the last three years (specific to each tract) and current pricing per bushel from commodity report (rounded up to the nearest $1.00). Crop damages will be paid in a full lump sum prior to start of construction.
Year 1 = (acres impacted)(yield)(price)(100%)
Year 2 = (acres impacted)(yield)(price)(80%)
Year 3 = (acres impacted)(yield)(price)(60%)
Based on construction timing and the Iowa State University studies to date on fields crossed by Dakota Access, these amounts should be more than actual crop losses during those years.
The permanent easement will be 50' in width and the temporary easement will be a minimum of 50' for all pipeline sizes and may be up to 75' for pipeline sizes ranging from 16" to 24" depending upon the depth of topsoil. Summit may request additional temporary construction space in certain locations where boring or drilling will occur, or where the pipeline direction changes, or where additional access to the right-of-way is required, or if other construction needs require additional equipment.
Summit Carbon Solutions understands the importance of commercial CO2 for businesses. As a result, no ethanol plant agreements will affect the selling of carbon for commercial purposes. Only the resulting excess carbon will be permanently sequestered. We believe sequestering carbon dioxide is the most efficient way to reduce a plant’s carbon intensity score.
Currently, there will be six pumping stations across the five states, with two being in northwest Iowa.
Why doesn’t the company use existing rights of ways when there are highway and railroad right-of-way?
There are many different factors when designing a proposed route for the pipeline. To minimize additional disturbance, Summit Carbon opted to follow existing utility corridors instead of placing the pipeline in vicinity to highways and railroads, where safety could be compromised, or additional disturbances would occur.
Carbon capture in other states is often used for enhanced oil recovery. How do we know this will not be used for such?
Carbon sequestration in Summit Carbon’s network will be permanently stored in an area of North Dakota where no enhanced oil recovery operations occur.
Seismic activity is extremely low in North Dakota. To prioritize safety and ND Class VI well regulations, the company is preparing seismic activity studies to model different scenarios and the best way to respond to each one.