An oil producer, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico could play a role in the energy transition with the adoption of carbon capture adn storage technology. File Photo courtesy of BP
Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The operators of the Port of Corpus Christi said Wednesday they secured millions of dollars in federal funds to help support the development of carbon capture and storage technology.
The Texas port is among the busiest in the nation. Port authorities said Wednesday they secured $16.4 million in funding offered through the Department of Energy to support the development of CCS technology.
"The grants are designed to accelerate the development of a centralized solution to capture and manage CO2 emissions that otherwise would enter the atmosphere and contribute to global warming," the port authority said.
The Paris-based International Energy Agency estimates there are only around 30 or so commercial-scale carbon sequestration projects in operation. There could be as many as 200 in the works, but only around 10 of those have made the investment decisions necessary to proceed to development.
Those new facilities may be necessary if there's any chance for a net-zero global economy by 2050, the IEA said.
A November reported emailed to UPI from consultant group Wood Mackenzie said the U.S. Gulf Coast was emerging as a CCS hub, with at least six new projects in the developmental or planning stage.
Two new facilities under consideration at the Port of Corpus Christi would store as much as 50 million tons of carbon dioxide, the loose equivalent of the amount emitted from a dozen coal-fired power plants each year, over a 30-year period.
Charles W. Zahn, the chairman for the port authority, said federal support will help redefine the Gulf Coast as a waterway not just for vessel traffic, but for global environmental improvements.
"This funding represents a gateway to new jobs and new opportunities for our community in an entirely new sector of the clean energy economy," he said.
Chevron and 10 other companies have expressed interest in developing large-scale CCS technology in the Houston area.
The Energy Department estimates the entire Gulf Coast region could store as much as 500 billion metric tons of CO2 using CCS, the equivalent of 130 years of industrial- and power-based emissions.
Captured CO2 can either be stored in underground geological formations or be sold to end-users, such as those working on beverage carbonation.