Poet to Add 17 Plants to CO2 Pipeline

Summit to Add All Poet Ethanol Plants in Iowa, South Dakota to Carbon Pipeline

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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Poet LLC has struck an agreement with Summit Carbon Solutions to add many of Poet's ethanol plants to the Midwest Carbon Express, a pipeline under development. The Summit project continues to face regulatory hurdles. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- Poet LLC agreed to connect all its ethanol plants in Iowa and South Dakota to Summit Carbon Solutions' proposed carbon pipeline as Summit continues to work through regulatory hurdles to build what would be a 1,250-mile pipeline across five states.

The announcement comes just days after the grand opening of what is believed to be the world's first sustainable aviation fuel plant in Soperton, Georgia. Just last week, Iowa agriculture and biofuels officials called for widespread adoption of carbon capture and sequestration among Iowa ethanol plants to make the industry more attractive to SAF production.

If the pipeline is built, Poet and Summit said in a news release on Monday, the Poet plants will be able to sequester about 4.7 million metric tons (mmt) of carbon dioxide annually.

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

"The timeline for the addition of these plants is strategically planned," according to the news release.

"The plants in South Dakota will be included in the upcoming state application, ensuring a streamlined integration into Summit's existing project framework. Meanwhile, for the plants in Iowa, separate applications will be filed, acknowledging the unique requirements and opportunities in each state. This structured approach allows Summit to efficiently expand our project scope while adhering to local regulations and needs."

On Aug. 4, 2023, the North Dakota Public Service Commission unanimously denied a siting permit for the project that would traverse through Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.

In rejecting a site permit, the NDPSC cited a U.S. Geological Survey that found 14 areas of potential geological instability within the project corridor.

Similar permit requests were rejected in South Dakota last year, and as of last fall, Summit continued to negotiate with hundreds of property owners in Iowa to acquire land for the project. The Iowa Utilities Board is now reviewing Summit's permit applications in that state after months of hearings on the project, though there is no deadline for the Iowa board to make that decision.

The addition of the Poet plants to the pipeline would increase the number of plants connected to a future pipeline from about 30 to nearly 50.

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.

"Poet is excited to partner with Summit Carbon Solutions on this historic project," said Jeff Broin, Poet founder and CEO.

"As the world seeks low-carbon energy solutions, carbon capture ensures that ag-based biofuels will remain competitive for decades to come. This is a tremendous opportunity to bring value to farmers, bioethanol producers and rural communities and counties in participating states, and I believe it will unleash even more opportunities for ag and bioprocessing in the future."

Bruce Rastetter, founder and executive chairman of Summit Agricultural Group, said in a news statement the agreement was "historic" and would lead to more economic opportunity for farmers.

"Poet is the largest bioethanol producer in the world, and their partnership with Summit Carbon Solutions ensures that decarbonizing bioethanol will lead to exciting new market opportunities for producers, rural economies and American energy security," Rastetter said in the statement.

"I have known Jeff Broin for two decades, and there is no question about his passion, leadership, and influence. It's an honor to work with him again to help revolutionize biofuels and agriculture for decades to come."

Read more on DTN:

"Carbon Pipeline Hearings in Iowa," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

"Navigator Cancels Carbon Pipeline Plans," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

"Capturing SAF Promise in Rural America," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @DTNeeley

Todd Neeley

Todd Neeley
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