Friday, August 21, 2009

Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership cancels Ohio CCS project despite DOE funding

The 35-member Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Project (MRCSP) has cancelled a $92.8m proposal to inject one million tons of carbon dioxide over four years from an ethanol plant in Greenville, western Ohio.

Battelle Memorial Institute, a major, non-profit research and development organisation which manages MRCSP, issued a terse communiqué saying the decision was based on “business considerations.”

“That’s all I can tell you,” Katy Delaney, a Battelle spokeswoman says in response to queries from Recharge.

The move came after the US Energy Department in May 2008 awarded MRCSP $61m to fund the third phase of carbon capture and storage research over 10 years at the Greenville site.

The CO2 would have been injected into the Mount Simon Sandstone formation, which is more than 3,000 feet beneath the surface. It stretches across much of the Midwest region and has the potential to store more than 100 years of CO2 emissions from major point sources in the region, according to DOE.

Specifically, the third phase, for which MRCSP members would have contributed almost $32m, was to validate that the injection and storage could be done on a safe, permanent and economic basis.

Local officials and state representatives had increasingly opposed the project fearing it would lower property values and increase seismic activity.

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