BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards and the executives of major global energy corporations CF Industries, ExxonMobil and EnLink Midstream announced an “unprecedented” decarbonization collaboration aimed at dramatically reducing industrial CO2 emissions in Louisiana. The announcement – described as a potential business prototype for industrial-scale carbon capture and sequestration projects – was made Wednesday at the State Capitol.
The three companies have entered into the largest-of-its-kind commercial agreement to capture emissions from CF Industries’ Ascension Parish manufacturing complex, transport the CO2 through EnLink’s transportation network and permanently store it underground on property owned by ExxonMobil in Vermilion Parish.
“Today’s announcement of this unprecedented, large-scale, low-carbon partnership is a key milepost on Louisiana’s path toward a brighter future for our climate, our economy and our people,” Gov. Edwards said. “The collaboration and innovation to bring carbon capture and storage technology forward at this scale reaffirms our state’s ability to grow our economy without sacrificing our long-term emission-reduction goals to net zero by 2050.”
A leading global manufacturer of hydrogen and nitrogen products, CF Industries recently announced a $198.5 million plan to build a CO2 dehydration and compression unit at its ammonia production plant in Donaldsonville. ExxonMobil has signed an agreement with EnLink Midstream to transport the CO2 through EnLink’s pipeline network to a 125,000-acre secure geologic storage location in Vermilion Parish approximately 100 miles south and west of CF’s facility.
The companies expect start-up for the project to be scheduled for early 2025. They estimate the project will allow them to capture and sequester up to 2 million metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to replacing approximately 700,000 gasoline-powered cars with electric vehicles.
CF Industries expects to market up to 1.7 million metric tons of blue ammonia annually. A chemical process is considered “blue” when CO2 emissions are captured before their release into the air, making the process more carbon-neutral. Demand for blue ammonia is expected to grow significantly as a decarbonized energy source for hard-to-abate industries, both for its hydrogen content and as a fuel itself, because ammonia’s components – nitrogen and hydrogen – do not emit carbon when combusted.
“CF Industries is pleased to partner with ExxonMobil through this definitive CO2 offtake agreement, accelerating our decarbonization journey and supporting Louisiana’s and the country’s climate goals,” said Tony Will, president and chief executive officer, CF Industries Holdings, Inc. “This agreement also ensures that we remain at the forefront of the developing clean energy economy. As we leverage proven carbon capture and sequestration technology, CF Industries will be first-to-market with a significant volume of blue ammonia. This will enable us to supply this low-carbon energy source to hard-to-abate industries that increasingly view it as critical to their own decarbonization goals.”
ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions is working to bring lower-emission technologies to market, making them accessible to hard-to-decarbonize industries in the United States and internationally. It is focusing its carbon capture and storage efforts on point-source emissions, the process of capturing CO2 from industrial activity that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. Once captured, the CO2 is injected into deep, underground geologic formations for safe, secure and permanent storage. In the United States, these storage efforts are regulated by state and federal agencies.
“This landmark project represents large-scale, real-world progress on the journey to decarbonize the global economy,” said Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions. “ExxonMobil is providing a critical and scalable solution to reduce CO2 emissions, and we’re ready to offer the same service to other large industrial customers in the state of Louisiana and around the world. We’re encouraged by the momentum we see building for projects of this kind, thanks to supportive policies such as the Inflation Reduction Act.”
Carbon capture and storage is a safe, proven technology that can enable some of the highest-emitting sectors to meaningfully reduce their emissions. These industries include manufacturing, power generation, refining, petrochemical, steel and cement operations. With effective government policies in place, broad deployment of commercial-scale carbon capture and storage projects could create a new industry, resulting in job creation and economic growth.
“EnLink has a system of over 4,000 miles of pipeline already in the ground in Louisiana,” said Jesse Arenivas, Chief Executive Officer of EnLink. “Utilizing this extensive network enables us to provide the most timely and cost-effective solution to CO2transportation, with a significantly lower environmental impact. Because of this, EnLink is uniquely positioned to be the CO2 transportation provider of choice in Louisiana's Mississippi River corridor, which is a hub of industrial activity that is important to our economy. We look forward to working with ExxonMobil to help CF Industries and the State of Louisiana reach their decarbonization goals.”