US DOE awards Port of Corpus Christi with $16.4M in CarbonSAFE grants

The Port of Corpus Christi has been allocated $16.4 million through the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of permanently storing captured carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial operations.

Illustration / Courtesy of Port of Corpus Christi
Courtesy of Port of Corpus Christi

The Port of Corpus Christi, located on the western Gulf of Mexico, is the largest port in the US in total revenue tonnage and a major gateway to international and domestic maritime commerce.

It was the only recipient of CarbonSAFE funding in Texas.

Its two distinctly funded projects include the collection of geologic data onshore under Port-owned property, and under state-owned offshore tracts, respectively.

The onshore project received $9 million in federal funding and is a collaboration between the Port of Corpus Christi and Talos Energy Inc. with Howard Energy Partners, as well as the Texas A&M University System.

The offshore project is a collaboration between the Port of Corpus Christi, 1845 Carbon Storage LLC, Strategic Sequestration Development LLC, and the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology’s Gulf Coast Carbon Center.

According to the Port, each of the two proposed carbon capture and storage projects has a goal of storing at least 50 million metric tonnes of CO2 over a 30-year period.

The bulk of the matching funds for the awarded grants will be furnished by the Port of Corpus Christi’s private sector collaborators, with the Port of Corpus Christi’s match coming by way of community benefits programming, including a new PORT-Able Learning Lab and development of decarbonisation/climate-specific Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum content for Texas schools.

Sean Strawbridge, CEO for the Port of Corpus Christi, said: “We applaud the Biden Administration for making such a direct and demonstrative investment in industrial carbon management solutions with the DOE’s CarbonSAFE programme.”

“This award is a significant and historic step in the Port of Corpus Christi’s ambition to position the Texas Coastal Bend region as the nation’s premiere carbon management hub, recognising our customers have already made significant decarbonisation commitments to their shareholders and society at large.”

Charles W. Zahn Jr., Port of Corpus Christi Commission Chairman, said: “As Port of Corpus Christi staff and industry partners work in the background to submit a full application for its Horizons Clean Hydrogen Hub, this award from the DoE will accelerate our efforts on another front to support the federal administration’s decarbonisation objectives.”

“This funding represents a gateway to new jobs and new opportunities for our community in an entirely new sector of the clean energy economy.”

DOE has recently encouraged the Port of Corpus Christi to submit a full application for its Horizons Clean Hydrogen Hub (HCH2) through the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs Programme.

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