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Valero’s Ethanol Facilities Join Carbon Capture Project


Recently, Summit Carbon Solutions announced that eight of Valero’s ethanol facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota will become part of their carbon capture project. This move is expected to result in the annual addition of 1.1 billion gallons of ethanol and the capture of 3.1 million metric tons of CO2.

Expansion Across the Midwest

The inclusion of Valero brings Summit’s project scope to cover 57 ethanol-production facilities in the upper Midwest. These facilities will contribute to capturing and sequestering over 16 million metric tons of CO2 per year.

Partnership with POET

In January, it was revealed that POET’s 12 facilities in Iowa and five facilities in South Dakota will also be integrated into the Summit project, further enhancing the initiative’s impact on reducing carbon emissions.

Pipeline Construction Delay

Summit had initially planned to construct a 2,000-mile carbon pipeline across several states to connect ethanol plants to underground storage. However, due to various challenges, the company has postponed its operations start date from 2024 to 2026.

State Regulatory Challenges

Summit has encountered obstacles with different states along the way. Chief Executive Lee Blank mentioned that a decision from Iowa may come in late first quarter or early second quarter regarding the company’s activities for the project within the state.

Overall, despite challenges and delays, Summit Carbon Solutions remains committed to its mission of reducing carbon emissions through strategic partnerships with ethanol producers.

Pipeline Projects Facing Regulatory Challenges

Summit is eagerly awaiting a ruling on permits in North Dakota in the second quarter, as shared by Blank. The company’s strategic plans were positively influenced by a recent meeting with regulators in January. These discussions indicated that local municipalities in North Dakota would not be permitted to impose stricter regulations on pipelines than those already established by the state.

Hopes for Progress in South Dakota

Despite facing a setback in South Dakota, Summit remains optimistic about the future. Blank mentioned in February, “We were denied in South Dakota, now we’re trying to find that appropriate route. Once we establish the route, we’ll reapply.”

Another notable project by Archer Daniels Midland and Wolf Carbon Solutions US involves the construction of a 350-mile pipeline to transport captured CO2 from ADM’s Iowa facilities to an underground sequestration site in Decatur, Illinois.

Regulatory Hurdles Impacting Ventures

In contrast, Navigator CO2 Ventures had to abandon plans for a similar project due to stringent regulatory challenges. South Dakota regulators rejected their proposal for a 1,300-mile carbon dioxide pipeline, raising uncertainties about the feasibility of such initiatives.

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