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The world’s largest carbon capture plant gets a second chance in Texas


Owners of the world’s largest carbon capture facility plan to restore operations at the $1 billion plant three years after it shut down, providing a test case for a nascent industry that experts believe is essential in achieving climate goals.

JX Nippon aims to restart the Petra Nova facility in Texas after NRG Energy finishes repairs on the coal-fired power unit to which it is connected, the company said in an emailed response to questions. NRG said it’s scheduled to complete the work in June.

The resumption would mark a significant step forward for U.S. carbon capture, providing a new lease of life for a project that critics saw as one of the industry’s highest-profile failures. The Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act provides major tax incentives to boost development of the technology that would scrub emissions from burning fossil fuels. Some environmentalists contend that even if it works, carbon capture extends the life of oil and gas extraction. Supporters say there’s no other viable option to decarbonizing high-polluting industries.

Petra Nova, which cost $1 billion to build including $195 million from the U.S. government, shipped carbon it captured from burning coal to an oil field operated by Hilcorp Energy, where it was used to extract crude through a process called enhanced oil recovery. In that process, the carbon dioxide acts like soap to squeeze out oil and is then stored in reservoirs deep underground.

During its three years of operation it was the world’s largest post-combustion carbon capture plant by tons captured annually, according to NRG.



Published on 2/20/2023 (30 days ago) Coal