This week, two large carbon capture projects held a groundbreaking ceremony at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC). Membrane Technology and Research will be using the ITC’s large test bay as they begin their membrane carbon capture technology project that is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) large-scale pilot carbon capture program.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and their partner Japan Carbon Frontier Organization, will be launching onsite activities for their solid sorbent capture technology. This project is commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan (MOEJ).

These projects will join the ITC’s project portfolio, which represents more than $100 million in carbon capture and carbon utilization technology deployment, and will serve as a crucial step towards advancing these technologies to commercialization.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon lauded both projects in his remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony. “It is rewarding to see this next milestone in the development of carbon capture on a coal-fired plant and further fulfillment of the ITC’s mission,” he said. “I am unwavering in my commitment to using the State of Wyoming’s resources to ensure coal remains a viable, reliable fuel for the next generation through CO2 capture.”

The ITC is a carbon capture and utilization testing facility that is located at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station. Technology developers have access to scrubbed flue gas that would otherwise be released from the plant.

“Basin Electric is proud to partner with the ITC and CarbonSAFE project to advance carbon capture, utilization, and storage efforts,” said Todd Telesz, CEO and general manager of Basin Electric Power Cooperative. “We are excited to be a part of the pursuit to find a means of reducing carbon while continuing to use coal to power the economy.”

“The ITC has been working with these two developers since 2019 as they have moved their projects toward large-scale testing,” said Jason Begger, managing director of the ITC. “Carbon capture will be absolutely essential to ensuring baseload power continues to be available to the grid. We are so excited for both MTR and KHI to move to the next phase of their technology advancement.” 

“Today’s groundbreaking represents the culmination of 15 years of research, development, and testing to produce a remarkable clean capture technology,” said Brett Andrews, president, MTR Carbon Capture. “Once built, the 150 metric ton per day Large Pilot will be the largest non-solvent-based capture plant in the world, and it represents our final step toward commercial deployment. We are excited and truly appreciative of the support of the DoE, the State of Wyoming, the ITC, and our project partners.”

“In view of the cruciality of sustainable climate change actions and energy security, we shall focus on our efforts to promote zero CO2 emissions technologies for coal utilization and not on coal phase-out,” said Osamu Tsukamoto, president of Japan Carbon Frontier Organization.

“We implement the demonstration test as a joint partner of Japan Carbon Frontier Organization and supply our own developed solid sorbents for such tests,” said Tomohiko Sugimoto, general manager for Kawasaki Heavy Industries. “We believe that the demonstration tests will be implemented on schedule with successful results as planned, and wish to contribute to achieving carbon neutral in the world by delivering our carbon capture system with own solid sorbents soon.”