Aemetis Establishes Carbon Capture Subsidiary
Aemetis, Inc. has announced that the company’s board of directors has approved the establishment of a new subsidiary named Aemetis Carbon Capture, Inc. California’s Central Valley is well established as a major region for large-scale CO2injection projects due to the geologic formation of subsurface shale caprock that safely contains and retains gases.
The company’s carbon capture business unit will initially capture, dehydrate, compress, and sequester CO2from Aemetis Biogas anaerobic dairy digester projects to further reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of its dairy biogas, which was recently certified by CARB as negative 426 (-426) for a Fuel Pathway established by Aemetis utilizing biogas from the company’s first two operating dairy lagoon anaerobic digesters for the production of renewable fuel. Currently, the -426 Aemetis dairy biogas carbon intensity score does not include the value of CO2 Carbon Capture & Sequestration (CCS).
The planned 52 dairies in the Aemetis Biogas projects are expected to produce approximately 1.4 million MMBtu’s of dairy Renewable Natural Gas and about 50,000 metric tonnes of CO2each year. The Aemetis ethanol plant currently produces approximately 150,000 metric tonnes of CO2per year, and the renewable jet/diesel plant under development is expected to produce 160,000 tonnes per year of CO2.
When related to transportation fuels production, CO2sequestered underground is estimated to generate approximately $200 per metric tonne under the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The IRS 45Q tax credit value for sequestered CO2is approximately $50 per tonne.
According to the EPA, approximately one metric tonne of CO2is emitted for every 2,500 miles driven in a passenger car. Capturing and sequestering the annual CO2from biogas generated by 52 dairies can offset the CO2emissions from up to 125,000,000 passenger car miles.
“Significant new legislation has been introduced in Congress to support the existing California LCFS and IRS 45Q carbon intensity reduction programs with additional carbon sequestration grants, investment tax credits, and other support,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis, Inc. “The formation of Aemetis Carbon Capture, Inc.is a key milestone in achieving a significant increase in the value of RNG by adding Carbon Capture & Sequestration to reduce the carbon intensity of the RNG produced from dairies. The Aemetis Biogas projects with carbon sequestration by Aemetis Carbon Capture provide dairies with a compelling opportunity to avoid liability for methane emissions under the LCFS program. Over the next five years, Aemetis plans to invest more than $300 million into dairy RNG and CCS projects that are already operating or in development,” added McAfee.
The Aemetis Biogas Central Dairy Digester Project is a collection of dairy digesters and a 36-mile pipeline with gas cleanup and compression that are built, owned, and operated by Aemetis Biogas LLC. The project produces renewable methane gas which is converted to negative carbon intensity RNG for transportation use to displace petroleum diesel fuel. An estimated 25% of total methane emissions in California is produced by dairy waste lagoons.
In September 2020, Aemetis Biogas LLCcompleted two dairy digesters and four miles of private biogas pipeline, which is already powering the production of low carbon biofuels at the Aemetis ethanol plant in Keyes, California. A 32-mile Aemetis pipeline extension recently received CEQA permit approval to carry biogas from dairies in Stanislaus and Merced counties to the Keyes plant for biogas cleanup and conversion to RNG for sale as transportation fuel.
The company plans to begin construction of the next five dairy digesters and the additional 32 miles of biogas pipeline in the second quarter of 2021, with five more dairy digesters set to begin construction in the third quarter of 2021 and five digesters beginning in the first quarter of 2022, for a planned total of 17 dairy digesters and a 36-mile biogas pipeline in operation by the second quarter of 2022.