Valero Adds 8 Ethanol Plants to Summit

Valero to Connect Eight Ethanol Plants to Summit's CO2 Pipeline

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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Valero plans to connect eight ethanol plants to a planned Midwest carbon pipeline. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- Summit Carbon Solutions has added more ethanol plants to its planned carbon pipeline, announcing Monday that Valero has agreed to connect eight of its 12 corn-ethanol plants to the project.

That includes one plant in Albion, Nebraska; one plant in Aurora, South Dakota; one plant in Welcome, Minnesota; and five plants in Iowa, including those in Hartley, Albert City, Fort Dodge, Lakota and Charles City.

"Participation from these eight facilities adds 1.1 billion gallons of ethanol per year and will lead to the capture of 3.1 million metric tons of CO2 annually," Summit said in a Monday news release.

"This will reduce the carbon intensity of ethanol production and further open access to low-carbon fuel markets."

With the inclusion of Valero, Summit's project now extends to 57 ethanol plants across the upper Midwest, from which it will capture and sequester over 16 million metric tons (mmt) of CO2 per year.

At the end of January, Summit and Poet LLC announced that Poet would be connecting all its ethanol plants in South Dakota and Iowa to the Summit project, which continues to work through a number of regulatory hurdles in several states. The Poet plants reportedly would be able to sequester about 4.7 mmt of carbon annually.

If the 1,250-mile pipeline is built, it would enhance the corn-ethanol industry's chances of becoming a feedstock provider to sustainable aviation fuel production.

Without sequestering carbon from ethanol plants, ethanol would be less appealing to SAF producers who need to achieve at least 50% carbon reduction compared to petroleum jet fuel to qualify for tax credits.

"I am excited to welcome one of the premier energy companies in the world into our project, bringing in a new era where agricultural innovation and energy market expansion go hand in hand," said Bruce Rastetter, founder and executive chairman of Summit Agricultural Group.

"By integrating Valero's facilities into this project, we will make major strides in providing more than a billion gallons of low-carbon fuels to a marketplace hungry for the product. This project ensures the agriculture and biofuels industries will remain dynamic and competitive, meeting the needs of today while preparing for the opportunities of tomorrow."

Summit Carbon Solutions CEO Lee Blank said in a statement the project represents a "meaningful shift" in agriculture to lower the carbon intensity of biofuels.

"It's about practical changes that can make a real difference: improving farm profitability, increasing land values and offering solid support to our farm families and rural communities," Blank said.

"This project represents a significant step forward that is grounded in the humble and hardworking spirit of agriculture."

The Summit project has faced several regulatory challenges in the past year or so.

After Navigator CO2 Ventures canceled a planned carbon pipeline in October 2023, Summit announced it was delaying its project by two years to 2026. Poet originally planned to connect 18 ethanol plants to the Navigator pipeline.

Read more on DTN:

"Summit CEO: CO2 Pipeline's Time is Now,"…

"Poet to Add 17 Plants to CO2 Pipeline,"…

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Todd Neeley

Todd Neeley
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