The U.S. has seen lawmakers from both parties agree that carbon capture is one important way to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and rural communities are rallying around plans to retrofit large American coal power plants with the technology to save jobs.
But one of the most high-profile carbon capture projects in the U.S., the $1 billion Project Tundra in North Dakota, is facing months of delays after its engineering contractor apparently pulled out in March. The Minnkota Power Cooperative Inc., which is spearheading the project at its 692-MW Milton R. Young coal-fired power plant, has acknowledged it is also having difficulty securing private-sector funding
"It's not clear why investors would sink a billion dollars into any risky and controversial coal carbon capture proposal, much less one facing such major outstanding questions," said Joe Smyth, a research manager with the Energy and Policy Institute. The watchdog group obtained copies of reports the electric co-op filed with the U.S. Energy Department detailing Project Tundra's struggles.
Minnkota received a $9.8 million grant from the DOE in 2019 for the front-end engineering work that has now been delayed by a year. The co-op said in its latest quarterly progress report to the DOE that it is talking with other potential construction contractors but that the process "is progressing slower than anticipated."
Minnkota's former contractor Fluor Corp. could continue to work on Project Tundra in a more limited capacity and bring in additional partners, noted John Thompson, a technology and markets director for the Clean Air Task Force who monitors U.S. carbon capture projects. He said Fluor likely did not walk away from the contractor job over concerns with the technology but rather due to its corporatewide push away from fixed price to reimbursable contracts.
More at the link. ProjectTundra is a tag.
Coincidentally and ironically another CCS story was posted just a few minutes earlier.
Although someone may have bit off more than one could chew, it speaks volumes about CCS programs going forward. Environmentalists and oil and gas companies, take note. I think this would be of more concern to oil and gas companies rather than faux environmentalists. Faux environmentalists generally have no "skin in the game."