OMAHA, NEB. — Green Plains Inc. announced Feb. 18 that three of its biorefineries have partnered with Summit Carbon Solutions (SCS) on a long-term carbon offtake agreement. The project will capture and sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) from Iowa and transport it to North Dakota to be deposited into geologic storage.

This effort aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, carbon footprint and reduce environmental impacts. Additionally, Green Plains’s Ultra-High Protein products will become “true low carbon ingredients” for use in pet food, aquaculture, dairy and poultry processing.

“The partnership with Summit Carbon Solutions aligns with our ongoing transformation to lead the way in sustainable biorefining,” said Todd Becker, president and chief executive officer of Green Plains. “The future is low carbon, and while we have already made enormous strides in improving the efficiencies and sustainability of our processes through Project 24 and Fluid Quip’s extensive IP suite, taking advantage of the advancements in carbon sequestration is the next logical step of our evolution.”

The company acquired Fluid Quip in January, to expand production of value-added agricultural products.

Green Plains plans to make an initial investment in SCS, a subsidiary of Summit Agricultural Group, to fund the project, which will begin in late 2024.

“By capturing and sequestering the carbon dioxide from our biorefineries, we are able to reduce our CI [Carbon Intensity] score by as much as 50%, comparable or lower than other low carbon fuels available in the market today, and position our renewable fuels for low carbon markets globally,” Becker added. “Based on current LCFS [Low Carbon Fuel Standard] markets, we believe we can achieve a minimum of 15 cents per gallon margin uplift as well as potential for carbon credits, 45Q tax incentives and direct returns on our investment in the pipeline and SCS.”

The company will begin by connecting its Fairmont, Minn., Fergus Falls, Minn., and Superior, Iowa biorefineries to the carbon sequestration pipeline, with the option to include additional facilities in the future.

Once the infrastructure for this initiative is up and running, SCS expects to capture and sequester 10 million tons of CO2 per year, which is the equivalent of removing more than two million cars from the road annually.

“Combined with growth in sustainable Ultra-High Protein, clean sugar production and renewable corn oil, carbon capture and sequestration will usher in a new era for our biorefinery products,” added Becker. “We believe this puts ethanol on a path toward achieving carbon neutrality. Collaborating with SCS on this project will help to address the urgent global need for decarbonization, while contributing to the infrastructure necessary to launch full scale carbon capture and sequestration for biorefineries across the Midwest.”

Green Plains was previously focused as an ethanol and commodities manufacturer but has recently shifted to focus on value-added ingredient solutions for pet food and animal feed. The company announced it had begun such production at its facility in Shenandoah, Iowa in April 2020.

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