SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — One of Siouxland’s largest ethanol producers spoke on how much they would benefit from a carbon capture pipeline Friday.
Siouxland Energy Cooperative set out on a mission to create high-quality biofuel more than two decades ago and now are looking to continue their success with help from a carbon capture pipeline.
Director of Operations at Siouxland Energy, Jeff Altena, said for ethanol to be a viable commodity in the future, actions must be taken now for their product to meet the low-carbon fuel standards on the west coast where this facility exports about 90% of its ethanol.
To do that, Siouxland Energy and 30 other ethanol facilities have partnered with Summit Carbon Solutions to sequester their carbon into a pipeline that will run through Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and the Dakotas and be stored miles underground in North Dakota.
Altena said right now their product has a carbon intensity score in the 60s but the pipeline would cut that number in half.
He talked about how a lower score will equal major profit for their farmer-owned facility.
“Each point drops about a million dollars and so by partnerting with Summit, we share part of that income but the income we take in here, we share with our members. We have 395 members, those dollars change locally, they’re spent locally in our local economy,” Altena said.
Summit’s chief commercial officer said their company has secured just ‘several hundred’ voluntary easements out of the 4,500 landowners who are in the proposed pipeline path show just how little of support they’ve received, but that acquiring land by means of right of way is not the way they want to go.
“There’s this misconception that we’re trying to get something without paying fair market value and if it’s not provided, we’re gonna take it and that’s not the intention. That’s not at all how this works,” said
Kelly Nieuwenhuis is one of the farmers whose land would be affected but is also a Siouxland Energy member.
He said he is in support of the pipeline because of the economic benefits it will bring ethanol farmers in the next generation.
“I feel very confident in the job that they’re gonna do. They understand agriculture at Summit, they know how important our land is to us as farmers,” said Nieuwenhuis.
Pirolli said the utilities board process of reviewing their hazardous pipeline permit application could take up to a year, so discussions with landowners about right of way could still be a ways in the future.