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Harvestone celebrates Vision Carbon ZERO at Blue Flint

Harvestone celebrates Vision Carbon ZERO at Blue Flint
The Harvestone Blue Flint Ethanol plant near Underwood, North Dakota (photo courtesy Harvestone).

In the United States (US), Harvestone Group has recently announced the commencement of carbon dioxide injection as a part of its carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at the Blue Flint Ethanol facility near Underwood, North Dakota (ND).

The Blue Flint facility began active carbon dioxide (CO2) injection in October after receiving final approval from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

Blue Flint is the second facility in North Dakota to actively capture and inject CO2 under Class VI primacy and the first facility in the United States operating under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Speaking at the event was Lieutenant Governor Tammy Miller, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring along with representatives from the state’s congressional delegation. Harvestone CEO Jeff Zueger emceed the discussion.

Congratulations to Harvestone on this exciting milestone in commencing carbon capture and storage. This accomplishment is a win for farmers, Blue Flint Ethanol, and all Americans because anytime we can improve the long-term viability of homegrown fuels and reduce our reliance on foreign sources, we’re strengthening national security, protecting the environment, and holding down energy costs for consumers, said North Dakota Lt. Governor Tammy Miller.

The Blue Flint Ethanol plant produces more than 200,000 tonnes per year of CO2, as a byproduct of the fermentation process.

We are excited to reach this milestone in our larger initiative called Vision Carbon ZERO, a multi-phased approach to reducing our fuel’s carbon intensity to zero. his project is a significant step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a steady market for North Dakota as we build a renewable, and sustainable energy future, said Jeff Zueger, CEO, Harvestone.

Using CCS, Blue Flint is capturing 100 percent of its CO2 emissions from the fermentation process and is injecting approximately 600 tonnes of CO2 per day. The CO2 is permanently stored underground about one mile below the surface in the Broom Creek formation.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission is pleased to see the vision that was first announced more than three years ago come to fruition. We were happy to provide over US$6.5 million in grant funding for this project through the Lignite Research Program and the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority, which Harvestone matched with over US$66 million in private investments. Successful implementation of carbon capture technology remains critical to ensuring the resilience of North Dakota’s energy industry, said Governor Doug Burgum, Attorney General Drew Wrigley, and Agriculture Commissioner Goehring in a joint statement – the Industrial Commission consists of Wrigley, Goehring, and Burgum as Chair.

North Dakota Senators John Hoeven, Kevin Cramer, and Congressman Kelly Armstrong each provided a statement to celebrate the milestone.

With CCUS operations now underway at the Blue Flint ethanol plant, North Dakota is marking another major milestone as a leader in this important energy technology. North Dakota is one of only two states that has the regulatory authority needed for projects like this to move forward, which is a result of 15 years of effort. By capturing CO2 emissions, this facility and the ag producers who supply it will have access to a broader market, including the west coast, while benefitting the coal-fired power station that provides excess steam for the facility’s operations, said Senator John Hoeven.

CCS is the process of capturing CO2 from a large stationary source, compressing the CO2 into a liquid, and injecting it via a Class VI injection well deep underground for permanent geologic storage.

Congratulations to the team at Harvestone on your Injection Celebration and successful use of carbon capture. Because of innovators like you, North Dakota is at the forefront of all-the-above energy production and environmental stewardship. Projects like this give our agriculture and energy producers a competitive edge. The utilization of carbon capture technology is a remarkable achievement for Harvestone and really, for North Dakota and the United States. Our state is a top energy producer with suitable geology, so it makes sense for us to lead the way in carbon capture, said Senator Kevin Cramer.

North Dakota was the first state to be granted primacy from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2018. Wyoming (WY) followed in 2020.

The beginning of carbon capture and sequestration at the Blue Flint plant is another opportunity for North Dakota to remain a leader in this technology. This project shows the path forward to ensure our state’s abundant energy resources can be utilized for generations to come, said Congressman Kelly Armstrong.

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