POET LLC, the world's leading ethanol producer, has announced a strategic partnership with Summit Carbon Solutions to undertake carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions capture at 17 of POET's Midwest ethanol plants. The collaboration is a crucial component of Summit's expansive multi-state pipeline project. This initiative follows POET's prior involvement in a carbon pipeline project with Navigator CO2 Ventures, which faced challenges and was subsequently canceled in October.
Under the new partnership, Summit Carbon Solutions aims to capture and store approximately 4.7 million metric tons of CO2 from 12 POET plants in Iowa and five plants in South Dakota. The endeavor aligns with POET's overarching commitment to emission reduction and meeting climate goals in ethanol production.
Summit Carbon Solutions has broader plans to capture a total of 18 million metric tons of CO2 across 33 biofuel plants along its proposed 2,000-mile, five-state route. However, the ambitious project has encountered resistance from landowners who express concerns about potential CO2 leaks, potential damage to farmland, and the possibility of the use of eminent domain for pipeline construction.
Summit faced setbacks when South Dakota state regulators rejected its initial application in September, citing safety concerns and opposition from landowners. The company intends to resubmit its application. Similarly, in North Dakota, where the captured carbon is slated for storage, the initial permit application was denied in August due to apprehensions about potential harm to humans and the environment. Summit is currently awaiting a permit decision from state utility regulators in Iowa.
Jeff Broin, Founder and CEO of POET, highlighted the significance of carbon capture in ensuring the competitiveness of ag-based biofuels, stating, “As the world seeks low-carbon energy solutions, carbon capture ensures that ag-based biofuels will remain competitive for decades to come.”