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Summit Carbon Partners with Bushmills Ethanol

Company is latest to join carbon capture and storage project

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot

Summit Carbon Solutions announces a new partnership with Bushmills Ethanol, Inc. to decarbonize its ethanol plant in Atwater, MN.

Bushmills Ethanol is the 32nd ethanol plant to officially join Summit Carbon Solutions' transformative carbon capture and storage project. The plant began operations in 2005 and currently produces 85 million gallons of fuel ethanol per year.

Summit Carbon Solutions is developing the largest carbon capture and storage project in the world, which will have the capacity to capture and permanently store up to 12 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.

The project will span across Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, and will cut the carbon footprint of affiliated ethanol plants in half.

"We share a common vision of supporting the long-term sustainability of U.S. agriculture by decarbonizing the supply chain and products that are produced," said Jim Pirolli, chief commercial officer of Summit Carbon Solutions.

"Bushmills is an excellent operator and has continually improved its plant through investments to reduce energy consumption and improve yields."

Summit Carbon Solutions and Bushmills Ethanol will capture more than 230,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, which will be compressed and transported to North Dakota for permanent geologic storage.

Summit Carbon Solutions recently announced significant project milestones, including submission of pipeline permit applications in the states of Iowa and South Dakota, and has raised over $600 million of equity, including recent investments from Continental Resources and Tiger Infrastructure Partners.

Eminent domain issue

With several carbon pipeline projects in the works, eminent domain has become an issue. In addition to Summit Carbon Solutions, Navigator CO2 Ventures and Wolf Carbon Solutions/ADM have announced proposals to build underground pipelines in Iowa.

Landowners in Iowa have been slow to cede their property rights to a 2,000-mile proposed carbon dioxide pipeline that would cut through the U.S. Midwest, an analysis by Reuters found.

Summit Carbon Solutions said in February it had negotiated easements with hundreds of landowners along the pipeline route.

But in Iowa, the state that would host the largest section of the proposed line, the company has reported just 40 land easements, covering just 1.9% of its 703-mile traverse, according to a database maintained by the Office of the Iowa County Recorder and analyzed by Reuters.

Summit told Reuters it has paid over $17 million to landowners along the pipeline route so far, and that negotiating the rest of the route will take a year or more.

Companies requesting to use eminent domain for carbon sequestration pipeline projects in Iowa couldn't receive a state hearing until early next year, under a bill that the Iowa House passed March 24, reports Iowa Farmer Today.

The legislation is an attempt to ease Iowa landowners' concerns about the potential use of eminent domain by the companies that have proposed pipeline projects.

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