Dakota Gas directors move forward with new carbon dioxide pipeline

Dakota Gas directors authorized a project to build a pipeline that will carry captured carbon dioxide from the Great Plains Synfuels Plant to a permanent geologic storage reservoir several miles away.

The Dakota Carbon Pipeline will leverage the Internal Revenue Service’s 45Q tax credits for carbon sequestration projects which provide an economic return on the investment, according to project manager Tyler Schilke.

The reservoir currently being considered is located about one mile below previously mined coal mine land owned by The Coteau Properties Company. A test well was drilled in June 2021. Information gleaned from the test well will be used to apply for a carbon dioxide storage facility permit, which is required for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide. The application is expected to be submitted to the North Dakota Industrial Commission in January 2022, Schilke said.

Construction on the pipeline is expected to begin in October 2021. Carbon dioxide injection would begin in the second half of 2022.

The Dakota Carbon Pipeline project moves forward as Basin Electric management continues to pursue an opportunity for an alternate path forward for Dakota Gas. The cooperative signed a non-binding terms sheet with Bakken Energy in August to purchase the plant. If the sale were to move forward, Bakken Energy would work with Mitsubishi Power Americas to create a clean hydrogen hub at the plant.

Basin Electric and Dakota Gas are continuing to conduct due diligence on the potential sale, and support Bakken Energy’s effort to evaluate a retrofit of the plant. At the same time, Basin Electric continues to study a primary reformer as an alternate path forward for Dakota Gas. A primary reformer would allow the Synfuels Plant to continue fertilizer production with or without coal gasification, keeping options open for operating the plant depending on factors including commodity prices, available fuel types, and the regulatory climate.

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