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Summit Carbon Solutions asks for more time on South Dakota permit, sets route update timeline

Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions also reports it has raised more than $1 billion for its pipeline project that will help ethanol plants lower their carbon score by capturing greenhouse gas emissions and piping the CO2 to western North Dakota for underground storage.

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PIERRE, S.D. — Summit Carbon Solutions, the company behind what it calls the world's largest carbon capture project, has asked for extension to the permitting process in South Dakota.

In a letter filed with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission on May 9, Summit updated a timeline for the permitting process, including a date of Oct. 13 to file an updated application and route.

The request pushes a hearing on the pipeline until after the 2023 South Dakota legislative session and sets a decision date for the PUC at May 16, 2023, and a final order by June 15, 2023.

Summit initially filed for a permit in South Dakota on Feb. 9, 2022. State statute spells out a one-year time frame for acting on the permit but applicants can ask for more time.

On Tuesday, May 10, the PUC approved adding more interested parties to the list of intervenors in the case.

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Should the pipeline route change significantly, Summit would be required to notify anyone within a half-mile of the route. While the deadline for filing to become an intervenor has passed, the PUC can consider late-filed applications if the route changes.

"I really feel we have to err toward the side of the citizens and make certain that everyone’s included that may have an interest," Commission Gary Hanson said during the May 10 meeting.

A map of the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline project

The project has drawn an unprecedented number of intervenors in a South Dakota PUC case.

The $4.5 billion pipeline is intended to connect to 32 ethanol plants in five states: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, sending liquid carbon dioxide from the plants to be stored underground in North Dakota.

Summit says it will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help ethanol plants remain as viable businesses.

The pipeline concerns some farmers who have worries about damage to farmland and drain tile, the possible use of eminent domain to gain right-of-way for the pipeline, the safety of the hazardous materials pipeline and other issues.

In other developments on the pipeline:

More investors: Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions has announced it has raised more than $1 billion from investors.

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Along with more than $600 million already raised from prior investors, including oil company Continental Resources Inc . and Tiger Infrastructure Partners, Summit says it has a $300 million investment from TPG Rise Climate .

The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute reports that SK E&S Co., the natural gas business unit of South Korea’s SK Group, is investing $110 million in the project.

Eminent domain objections: The Burleigh, North Dakota, County Commission has joined the number of North Dakota counties passing a resolution against the use of eminent domain to gain pipeline right-of-way. The vote came at a May 2 meeting.

The main trunk of the pipe would pass through Burleigh County, which includes the state capital of Bismarck, on its way to the sequestration site.

Summit has yet to file for a pipeline permit in North Dakota.

Related Topics: CARBON CAPTURE
Reach Jeff Beach at jbeach@agweek.com or call 701-451-5651 (work) or 859-420-1177.
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