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Japan's Eneos to buy out operator of U.S. CO2 capture project Petra Nova

Japan's Eneos to buy out operator of U.S. CO2 capture project Petra Nova

Reuters · 09/14/2022 06:51
Japan's Eneos to buy out operator of U.S. CO2 capture project Petra Nova

- Japan's oil and metals giant Eneos Holdings Inc 5020.T said on Wednesday it will take full ownership of Petra Nova Parish Holdings, the operator of a project to harness carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from a Texas coal-fired power plant.

Under the deal, Eneos' unit, JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration which holds 50% stake in Petra Nova, will buy the remaining 50% stake from NRG Energy Inc NRG.N for $3.6 million on Thursday.

The move, which comes despite the 2020 suspension of the project, is aimed at gaining expertise of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology, a JX spokesperson said.

The project, equipped to capture and separate 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 a year, is designed to increase crude oil production by separating and recovering CO2 from the flue gas of the power plant and injecting it into oilfields.

Since the start of commercial operation in December 2016, the project has achieved a cumulative injection of about 4 million tonnes of CO2.

But it was shut down in 2020 after suffering chronic mechanical problems and routinely missing its targets, according to a report submitted by the project's owners to the U.S. Department of Energy.

"The suspension was due to deteriorating profitability caused by slumping oil prices at the time," the JX spokesperson said.

"No clear timeline for the restart has been set, but we aim to be ready for resuming the CO2 capturing facility in the second quarter year when the power plant is due to be back online," he said, adding the power plant suffered a fire earlier this year.

The Petra Nova plant's performance was seen as a major test of emerging efforts to capture planet-warming gases and store them below ground, a technology considered crucial to companies and governments hoping to fight climate change.


(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; editing by David Evans)

((Yuka.Obayashi@thomsonreuters.com; +813-4520-1265;))