A Trenton company is among those vying for grants in the second round of grants from North Dakota’s Clean Sustainable Energy Authority.
The Clean Sustainable Energy Authority still has $17 million in grants to award and $115 million in loans, after recommending $28 million in grants and $135 million in loans in its first round of grant applications.
Eight applications are in the second round, including SAFuelsX, which proposed to build a renewable diesel or aviation fuel production plant in Trenton. It is asking for a $10 million grant and a $25 million loan for the project, which is estimated to cost $357 million to produce renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels.
The Clean Sustainable Energy Authority plans to meet next at 11 a.m. on May 16 to consider its final round of grant applicants. The technical committee met on Monday, May 10 to develop recommendations.
SAFuelsX is a different venture from the gas-to-liquids plant that Cerilon has proposed to build in the same general area.
On its website, SAFuelsX has announced plans to begin site and small building preparation in the spring of 2022. They have already obtained site permits and approvals, including a federally mandated environmental assessment.
Construction of the plant is expected to require around 150 people per day, with peak employment of 300. It does not indicate how many people would be employed full-time.
SAFuelsX plans to source vegetable oil feedstock from soybeans or canola, two common MonDak crops to produce aviation fuels or renewable diesel fuels. Raw materials and products will be shipped via Savage Services.
In aviation fuel mode, the company expects to need 70 railcars per day to ship its product. They would use half that number in diesel fuel mode.
The initial capacity would be 10 cars per day of incoming vegetable oil, or 273,000 gallons per day.
Williams County has already approved a conditional use license for AIC Corporation. On that application, the company says it will process 100 million gallons of renewable fuel per year, using soybean or canola oil, on an 87-acre parcel in Buford Township.
John Melk is listed as the owner of AIC Energy Corporation, the parent company of SAFuelsX. AIC lists an address in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Other applicants for the CSEA Round 2 Grants and Loans funding process include:
Digital Stream Energy requested a $15 million loan for a $58 million project involving flare mitigation/elimination through wellsite energy harvesting and advanced computing.
Hydroil Solutions applied for a $2.5 million grant for a $13.8 million project to build a slurry injection well for TENORM disposal
Carbon America Developments and Midwest AgEnergy Group have requested a $34.6 million loan for a $68.9 million carbon dioxide capture and sequestration project in McLean County
Enerplus Resources has requested a grant of $9.055 million for an $18 million project for an internal combustion engine for carbon capture and sequestration.
Dakota Green Power applied for a $5.37 million grant for a $10.985 million project accelerating the waste-to-energy commercialization pathway for the sandwich gasifier.
BWR Innovations applied for a $5.764 million grant for a $16.4 million project for a green hydrogen generation and storage system.
Minnkota Power has requested a $150 million loan for its $1.45 billion Tundra Project, a flagship carbon capture and sequestration project in North Dakota.
Fifth Circuit hearing Biden oil, gas lease sale case
Lawyers for both sides clashed in court with competing arguments for and against President Joe Biden’s moratorium on oil and gas lease sales.
Lawyers representing a 13-state coalition that sued the moratorium argued the Biden administration couldn’t simply cancel rental sales without providing a reasoned analysis of why previously approved sales were suddenly canceled. .
Lawyers for the Biden administration, meanwhile, have argued that lease sales have a long history of cancellations and postponements for a variety of reasons. The postponement of sales is not a particularly significant overhaul that is against the law, they argued.
Judges at the hearing expressed skepticism that any laws were broken during the hearing, asking Louisiana attorney Scott St. John if the states he represents n don’t try to “get ahead of everyone else”.
It is unclear when the judges will render a decision. The case is Louisiana v. Biden, 21-30505, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
FERC continues to fight climate change
Willie Phillips, President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, outlined his views on climate change during a recent Energy Bar Association speech.
Phillips said scientifically backed reviews of climate change impacts must remain an integral part of any revisions to the agency’s pipeline approval policies.
The backlash over FERC’s proposed pipeline approval policy changes forced the agency to backtrack and reconsider its proposal. That process is still ongoing, with the agency widely divided along party lines over how to handle the challenge.
SEC extends comment period for climate risk changes
Meanwhile, the SEC announced it was reopening and extending its comment period for a proposal that would require publicly traded companies to disclose more about climate risks.
Critics of the proposal have questioned whether it should even be part of the SEC’s umbrella, which has more generally focused on financial reporting matters more directly related to products and services.
Proponents, meanwhile, say issuers should tell investors how their capital is being used and that this should not fall outside the authority of the SEC.
Colonial faces a $1 million fine
Regulators have proposed a $1 million fine against Colonial Pipeline for multiple likely violations of pipeline safety regulations, in connection with a successful cyberattack on the pipeline last year.
“The 2021 Colonial Pipeline incident reminds us all that compliance with regulatory standards designed to mitigate risk to the public is imperative,” said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. “PHMSA holds companies accountable for violations and aims to prevent any instances of non-compliance.”
PHMSA says it based the fine on its inspection of Colonial Pipeline Company’s procedures and records for control room management, and determined that the company was in likely violation of several safety rules, including failure to adequately plan and prepare for the manual shutdown and restart of its pipeline system.
Colonial will have the opportunity to challenge the decision in whole or in part. They may also request and be granted an informal hearing before an agency president before the proposed civil penalty is finalized.
For those interested in the finer details, logs of app activity are online at https://tinyurl.com/3h3c5339.