Two Carbon Capture Technology Developers Break Ground at Wyoming ITC

The ITC welcomes Membrane Technology & Research and Kawasaki Heavy Industries as the companies’ two carbon capture projects move to the large-scale testing phase.

Gillette, Wyoming – Today, two large carbon capture projects held a groundbreaking ceremony at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC).

Membrane Technology and Research will be utilizing the ITC’s large test bay as they begin their membrane carbon capture technology project that is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) large-scale pilot carbon capture program.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and their partner Japan Carbon Frontier Organization, will be launching onsite activities for their solid sorbent capture technology. This project is commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan (MOEJ).

These projects will join the ITC’s project portfolio, which represents over $100 million in carbon capture and carbon utilization technology deployment, and will serve as a crucial step towards advancing these technologies to commercialization.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon lauded both projects in his remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony. “It is rewarding to see this next milestone in the development of carbon capture on a coal-fired plant and further fulfillment of the Integrated Test Center’s mission. I am unwavering in my commitment to using the State of Wyoming’s resources to ensure coal remains a viable, reliable fuel for the next generation through C02 capture. Partnerships such as these with Japan and the DOE underscore the global leadership Wyoming has to offer regarding transitioning traditional energy development through the reduction of carbon emissions. This is a wonderful achievement and one worthy of celebration.”

The ITC is a carbon capture and utilization testing facility that is located at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station. Technology developers have access to scrubbed flue gas that would otherwise be released from the plant.

“Basin Electric is proud to partner with the Integrated Test Center and CarbonSAFE project to advance carbon capture, utilization, and storage efforts. We are excited to be a part of the pursuit to find a means of reducing carbon while continuing to use coal to power the economy. We are constantly looking for ways we can continue responsible operation of our units while ensuring the reliability our members expect. The ITC is one way of exploring this,” said Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Chief Executive Officer Todd Telesz.

“The ITC has been working with these two developers since 2019 as they have moved their projects toward large scale testing,” said Jason Begger, managing director of the ITC. “Carbon capture will be absolutely essential to ensuring baseload power continues to be available to the grid. We are so excited for both MTR and KHI to move to the next phase of their technology advancement.” 

“Today’s groundbreaking represents the culmination of fifteen years of research, development, and testing to produce a remarkable clean capture technology,” said Brett Andrews, president, MTR Carbon Capture. “Once built, the 150 tonne/day Large Pilot will be the largest non-solvent based capture plant in the world, and it represents our final step toward commercial deployment.  We are excited and truly appreciative of the support of the Department of Energy, the State of Wyoming, the ITC, and our project partners.”

“In view of the cruciality of sustainable climate change actions and energy security, we shall focus on our efforts to promote zero CO2 emissions technologies for coal utilization and not on coal phase-out. Establishment of CO2 separation and capture technology that enables coal use while addressing the global warming is extremely important to achieve both carbon neutrality and energy security. For this point of view, the project is becoming increasingly important,” said Mr. Osamu Tsukamoto, President of Japan Carbon Frontier Organization.

Mr. Tomohiko Sugimoto, General Manager, Kawasaki Heavy Industries added, “This is a great opportunity for Kawasaki to participate in this project. We implement the demonstration test as a joint partner of Japan Carbon Frontier Organization and supply our own developed solid sorbents for such tests. Thanks for kind cooperation and support by the State of Wyoming, ITC and Basin Electric Power Cooperative, we believe that the demonstration tests will be implemented on schedule with successful results as planned, and wish to contribute to achieve the carbon neutral in the world by delivering our carbon capture system with own solid sorbents soon.”


About Wyoming Integrated Test Center

The ITC is a public-private partnership under the administration of the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources designed to foster the next generation of energy technology. The ITC provides space for researchers to test Carbon Capture and Carbon Utilization technologies using actual coal-based flue gas from the Dry Fork Station near Gillette.  

The State of Wyoming allocated $15 million for the construction and operation of the facility. An additional $5 million commitment from private industry was required under the appropriation, which was secured from the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in addition to $1 million pledged from the National Rural Electric Cooperative AssociationBasin Electric Power Cooperative is providing the host site at their Dry Fork Station as well as many additional in-kind contributions including engineers and construction management services.

The ITC is one of a handful of such facilities around the world and only the second one in the United States. While many carbon capture technologies are being developed and studied in laboratory settings, the ITC is one of the few research and testing facilities at an operating coal-fired powered plant. The ITC allows for real world testing at an active power plant and alleviates typical concerns over being able to transfer technology from a lab to a plant.

About Membrane Technology & Research (MTR)

MTR is a pioneer in the development and use of membranes for industrial gas separations.  For more than 40 years, the company has supplied commercial membrane separation systems for the natural gas, petrochemical and refinery sectors globally.  MTR Carbon Capture was formed to commercialize the company’s innovative membrane-based carbon capture technology which offers a compelling, clean and affordable capture solution for power and industrial facilities.

About Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Since its incorporation in 1896, for more than 120 years, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. has been developing sophisticated technologies and generating knowledge used for manufacturing products that encompass the land, sea, and air sectors, which includes aerospace systems, rolling stocks, marine ships, energy system and plant engineering, precision machinery and robots, and motorcycles and leisure machines.

Kawasaki aims to achieve carbon neutrality domestically by 2030 through the further advance of energy saving, the expanded use of renewable energies and waste-to-energy, CCUS, as well as independent initiatives focusing on hydrogen power generation. In addition, it is anticipated that many industries and companies will tackle the reduction of CO2 emissions, Kawasaki is willing to provide these solutions to strive for early achievement of zero emissions.

Kawasaki’s approach of always collaborating with our customers to devise solutions and implementing them speedily serves our corporate motto: “Changing Forward.” Moreover, by expanding its global business and continuing to grow, while ensuring compliance with the law and implementing Group-wide social responsibility activities, Kawasaki aspires to be a company that is even more trusted by people around the world.

About Japan Carbon Frontier Organization

We continue to take on the frontier of coal utilization, that is, “zero emissions coal utilization”.

Coal provides a variety of support for the foundations of society in fields such as power generation, steel, cement, and the chemical industry, so we believe it is important to take on this challenge towards carbon neutrality, which means reducing CO₂ emissions to net zero while using coal as a resource and energy source.

In particular, given the realities in Japan that there is no single perfect energy source that satisfies S (safety) + 3E (Energy Security, Economic Efficiency, and Environment), it is important to utilize diverse energy sources in a balanced manner. Therefore we need to retain as many options as possible while taking on the technological innovations for cost saving in CO₂ emissions reduction and the social implementation of low/zero emission technologies.

We are committed to working towards the resolution of two critical issues for humanity – improving energy access for everyone around the world and addressing climate change – in order to achieve a sustainable, diverse, and inclusive society that leaves no one behind, as stated by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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