Greenway pipeline could run 50 miles in Lee County

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

LEE COUNTY – The proposed carbon recapture pipeline that is being proposed through Iowa could put 50 more miles of additional pipeline through the county.

Lee County already has the Dakota Access Pipeline running from the northwest corner diagonally through the county. It also has anhydrous pipelines running north and south with additional piping expected around Fort Madison in the next few years.

Now a company called Navigator CO2 Ventures, LLC is looking to build another lengthy pipeline for the capture and sequestration of liquid carbon dioxide through about 885 miles of Iowa land. The company would capture carbon dioxide produced by companies through Iowa and four other states and transport it via the pipeline to Illinois where it would be sequestered.

Company officials are working with the Army Corps of Engineers to determine the point in Lee County where the pipeline would cross the Mississippi River.

The pipeline will serve biofuel producers and ethanol plants including Big River Ethanol in West Burlington and OCI Iowa Fertilizer Company in Wever.

According to the spokesperson from Navigator, the pipeline would traverse about 50 miles in Lee County with offshoots that appear from the map above to have connections at IFC, and Big River in Des Moines County. However, officials have yet to confirm those proprietary connection points.

“The Heartland Greenway carbon capture system will initially be servicing nearly 20 emission sources across the project footprint, anchored by Valero’s facilities in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota,” according to a company spokesperson.

“Navigator CO2 Ventures respects the decision of its counterparties to remain confidential until their own public disclosures are made regarding their involvement with the system. We would expect those over the coming weeks and months.”

Public meetings have been planned in both counties. Lee County’s will take place Dec. 8 at Small Grand Things south of West Point.

The pipeline would vary in size from 6 to 24 inches and would be buried at a minimum of five feet from the top of the pipe.

The project carries an initial total price tag of approximately $3 billion, but officials didn’t specify what that investment would look like in Lee County. Economic impact statements are currently being compiled by Navigator officials.

The company must first hold the public hearing through the Iowa Utilities Board before it can speak to any private landowners about easement acquisitions.

“Navigator has a reputation for executing these projects the right way and values its relationships with all stakeholders, especially landowners,” the spokesperson said.

“Under Iowa law and regulatory authority granted to the Iowa Utilities Board, Heartland Greenway is not able to have any conversation or negotiation with landowners regarding compensation until after a public informational meeting is held in each of the counties the proposed sequestration system will traverse.”

The Heartland Greenway’s first phase is projected to commence initial service in late 2024 to early 2025 and span approximately 1,300 miles across five Midwest states.

Company officials claim the Heartland Greenway pipeline would have the capacity to store 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, equal to the emissions put out by approximately 3.2 million cars.

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