Red Trail Energy will begin the drilling of a stratigraphic well, designed to be permitted as a Class VI injection well and used to sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) from the company’s ethanol plant in Richardton, North Dakota.

The capture and storage of CO2 will enable the facility to sell to states with low carbon fuel standards, like California and those in the Pacific Northwest, ensuring a broader market for the company’s product.

The project is able to move forward due to Senator John Hoeven’s efforts to secure final approval for North Dakota’s regulatory primacy over Class VI injection wells, which are used for geological or long-term storage of CO2, the first such approval in the nation.

Hoeven’s efforts include:

  • Establishing the North Dakota CO2 Storage Workgroup in 2008, during his time as Governor.
  • Helping advance a bill through the state legislature to create a regulatory framework for carbon sequestration under the North Dakota Industrial Commission.
  • As US Senator, moving the state’s application for regulatory primacy forward at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and successfully pressing for its approval.

“Our efforts to advance the development of commercially-viable carbon capture technologies benefit both traditional energy producers and renewable energy, giving companies like Red Trail Energy access to new markets by leveraging their work to capture and store CO2,” said Hoeven.

“This means better prices for ethanol produces as well as farmers, all while empowering greater energy production with fewer emissions. That’s exactly why we worked to secure North Dakota’s primacy over regulating Class VI wells, while also advancing the 45Q tax credit for project developers and supporting the EERC and its partners as they research, test and implement CCUS.”

“Senator Hoeven has been instrumental in passing legislation that allows Red Trail Energy to move forward with the commercialisation of carbon capture and storage technology,” said Gerald Bachmeier, Red Trail Energy’s CEO. 

“Senator Hoeven has paved the way for companies like ours to lower the carbon footprint of our ethanol, which will allow a long-term viability of our company.”

The injection well will extend more than a mile underground, with drilling taking approximately 23 days and involving the collection of multiple core samples, sealing the well walls with concrete and a nickel casing and installing an array of sensor to monitor temperature and pressure, among other things.

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