NRG, JX Nippon units to build $1 billion Petro Nova CCS project

Units of NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp. have entered into a joint venture to build and operate Petro Nova, a carbon-capture system (CCS) in Houston. The total cost of the project is expected to be about $1 billion.

When completed, NRG says Petro Nova will be the world’s largest commercial-scale CCS, recovering 90% of the carbon dioxide in processed flue gas from the existing WA Parish power plant in Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston.

The company expects the system to capture about 1.6 million tons/year of CO2 from a 240-Mw slipstream of flue gas from WA Parish Unit 8, as well virtually all of the plant’s sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury. NRG says the gas leaving the system will be among the cleanest fossil-fuel emissions in the world.

After capture, the CO2 will be compressed and sent through an 82-mile pipeline to the West Ranch oil field, jointly owned by NRG, JX Nippon, and Hilcorp Energy Co. There it will be used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) that NRG says will boost production to 15,000 b/d from the current 500 b/d. The company estimates that West Ranch field holds about 60 million bbl of recoverable oil using EOR.

Petro Nova is being financed by a grant of $167 million from the Department of Energy Clean Coal Power Initiative, loans of $250 million from Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Mizuho Bank Ltd., and equity contributions from NRG and JX Nippon of about $300 million.

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