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POET, world’s largest biofuel producer, signs on to Navigator carbon capture pipeline project

The carbon capture system will phase in 18 of POET’s bioprocessing facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The project also includes ethanol plants in Minnesota and Illinois, where the carbon will be stored.

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — POET, the world’s largest producer of biofuel, has signed on to the Navigator CO2 Ventures, expanding its carbon capture project to more than 30 ethanol plants in five states.

Navigator is developing a carbon capture and sequestration system, Heartland Greenway , that will provide ethanol producers and other industries a way to reduce their carbon footprint.

POET, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Navigator annunced the partnership Tuesday, June 7.

The carbon capture system will phase in 18 of POET’s bioprocessing facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The project also includes ethanol plants in Minnesota and Illinois, where the carbon will be stored.

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The announcement said the project is on schedule to be operating in 2025. It is designed to deliver up to 15 million tons of carbon dioxide annually to multiple storage sites.

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The project will now rival in size the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline project that is planned to run through Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, where the carbon is to be stored.

The projects have proven unpopular with many landowners who don't want a hazardous materials pipeline crossing their property. Landowners have been organizing against the use of eminent domain that would force them to provide right-of-way to private pipeline companies.

The projects seek to cash in on tax credit for carbon storage and help ethanol plants lower their carbon score.

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POET CEO Jeff Broin at his office at POET's Sioux Falls location in 2017.
Mitchell Republic file photo

“We recognize that now is the time to take bold action to preserve our planet for future generations,” Jeff Broin, POET Founder and CEO said in a news release. “POET has been a leader in low-carbon biofuels and CO2 capture for commercial use for decades, and this project is another significant step in utilizing bioprocessing to accelerate our path to net-zero. We choose our partners carefully, and we believe Navigator has the expertise to deliver long-term value to rural America by further positioning agricultural commodities as a viable source of low-carbon liquid fuels to power our future.”

“POET is an industry pioneer that has built a company on the pillars of safety, integrity, innovation, and being a good neighbor in the communities they call home, all of which align entirely with the culture and track record of Navigator," Matt Vining, chief executive officer of Navigator said in a news release.

Valero and BlackRock Global Energy and Power are other key partners in the Navigator project.

In Minnesota, the pipeline will go through Martin County on the state’s southern border, connecting the Valero ethanol plant in the town of Welcome.

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