Blue Flint plant advances CO2 project, receives $3.4M grant

By Midwest AgEnergy Group | June 29, 2020

Midwest AgEnergy Group, the parent company to ethanol biorefinery, Blue Flint, near Underwood, North Dakota, announced on June 25 that they received a $3.4 million grant from the North Dakota Industrial Commission and are moving forward with a project that will potentially capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2).The grant will be used to advance the development of a potential carbon storage system at the Blue Flint facility located next to Coal Creek Station near Underwood, North Dakota. The research will involve drilling a stratigraphic well to examine the geology in the area near the Blue Flint facility. The test well will enable the collection of core samples to be analyzed for suitability to safely store CO2. Upon completion of the test well and subsequent data analysis, the company will determine if a permanent well should be placed to permanently store CO2 in a deep saline formation. If the sequestration project is successfully completed, the Blue Flint facility anticipates sequestering all their CO2, which equates to approximately 200,000 tons per year. The result of the sequestration will be a lower carbon footprint for the facility and the ability to participate in the IRS 45Q tax credit program, incenting such activities.

Midwest AgEnergy CEO Jeff Zueger stated, “The support for carbon capture and sequestration from the State of North Dakota is a great next step for the advancement of our project. Not only is this data important for our project, it is important to other assets in that area. We felt it was important to collaborate with the Lignite Research Council and the Industrial Commission to gather this important data for our project and for other possible projects. To date, a geological study of this breadth and scope does not exist in this area of the state.”

Earlier this year, Great River Energy announced the closing of Coal Creek Station, which provides steam and utility services to the Blue Flint facility. MAG continues to evaluate best options for a repower to ensure sustained operations beyond 2022. “Moving forward with this CO2 project is an important piece of securing a long-term viable future for the Blue Flint facility,” stated Zueger.