The Joint Planning Commission has the opportunity to learn more about the proposed pipeline

Summit Carbon Solutions continues to meet in person with groups or landowners interested in learning more about the proposed pipeline.

Starting with an open house more than a year ago, then meeting with individual landowners, as well as providing regular updates to county councils, company representatives met last week with the Madison County Joint Planning Commission on its pipeline proposal.

TurnKey Logistics’ Ben Fuller, who is assisting Summit Carbon Solutions, said the idea is to present the message in person and then answer questions.

Fuller said the proposed pipeline will take carbon dioxide captured primarily from ethanol plants and transport it near Bismarck, North Dakota, for sequestration. About 40 to 50 percent of all corn grown in Nebraska goes to ethanol plants, he said, and capturing the carbon will improve the plants’ carbon scores.

The Ames, Iowa-based company recently met with Holt County planners and met with Madison County planners last Thursday.

Those are two of the key areas in northeast and north central Nebraska as Green Plains Ethanol in Atkinson and what was formerly the Louis Dreyfus plant in Norfolk are located in those counties. The Norfolk Ethanol Plant is now known as the CIE Norfolk GNS.

A third ethanol plant in northeast Nebraska, Husker Ag of Plainview, is also located on one of the company’s proposed carbon pipeline routes.

In all, Summit plans to invest in 33 ethanol plants in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, with the carbon from those plants captured and sent to pipelines near Bismarck, North Dakota. There, it will be buried 1 to 2 miles underground in natural caverns for permanent impoundment.

Not much new information was presented as much of the information had previously been discussed and reported in public meetings.

One change has been that physical construction of the pipeline is not planned for now until 2024.

“It was 2023,” Fuller said. “Now we have readjusted. It was a little aggressive. We hope to start construction in early 2024.”

Nearly 25 miles of pipeline to Madison County is proposed. The company has easements for approximately 60% of the miles.

A question asked at a previous county council meeting involved the investors behind Summit.

It has been shared that various ethanol plant partners, John Deere, Continental Resources, Tiger Infrastructure, TPG Rise Climate and Summit Agricultural Group are the investors.

One of the questions was whether Norfolk’s proposed soybean crushing plant, scheduled to open in 2024, would connect.

Brent Niese, project manager of the Summit, said there are many industries that produce carbon. One of the reasons ethanol is being proposed is because the carbon from the fermentation process is about 95% pure carbon, he said.

However, the company would be open to adding more industries, but representatives said they were unaware of the company targeting others.

Another question was whether the pipeline would be large enough to handle other plants.

Niese said the proposed pipeline would be large enough to handle it. Many scenarios that would significantly increase flow have been considered, he said, and have been built with these possibilities in mind.

The pipeline will only be used to transport carbon, he said. And there are shutoff valves within 10 miles, with sensors in them, and it’s monitored around the clock in Ames, Iowa, Niese said.

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