Skip to main content

Momentum Accelerates for Houston Carbon Capture Hub

Published Sep 16, 2021 by A.J. Mistretta

downtown Houston aerial

Eleven companies announced today that they are collaborating on a potential carbon capture and storage hub in Houston. Such a project could significantly boost Houston’s bid to lead the global energy transition and serve as a model for other such projects around the world. 

Calpine, Chevron, Dow, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Linde, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, NRG Energy, Phillips 66 and Valero have agreed to begin discussing plans that could lead to capturing and safely storing up to 50 million metric tons of CO2 per year by 2030 and about 100 million metric tons by 2040.

The companies say they plan to help address industrial CO2 emissions in one of the largest concentrated sources in the United States—right here in Houston. Collectively, the 11 companies are considering using CCS technology at facilities that generate electricity and manufacture products that we use daily, from plastics and motor fuels to packaging. 

Coalition members say discussions are currently happening with other companies that have industrial operations in the region to add even more CO2 capture capacity. If more companies join the effort, it would add further momentum toward the city of Houston's ambitions to be carbon neutral by 2050.

"Houston can achieve our net zero goals by working together, and it's exciting to see so many companies have already come together to talk about making Houston the world leader in carbon capture and storage," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "We're reimagining what it means to be the energy capital of the world, and applying proven technology to reduce emissions is one of the best ways to get started."

CCS is the process of capturing CO2 from industrial activity that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and injecting it into deep underground geologic formations for safe, secure and permanent storage. With supportive regulations, CO2 from the Houston industrial area could be safely stored in the U.S. Gulf Coast region in formations thousands of feet below the surface or seabed. 

Wide-scale deployment of CCS in the Houston area will require the collective support of industry, communities and government. If appropriate policies and regulations are put in place, CCS could generate tens of thousands of new jobs, protect current jobs and reduce emissions at a lower cost to society than many other widely available technologies, the coalition partners said. The 11 companies will continue to advocate for policies that enable the long-term commercial viability of new, expanded and existing CCS investments in Texas.

Greater Houston Partnership President and CEO Bob Harvey said the Houston region is committed to leading the global energy transition to a low-carbon future. “We know a key component of this effort is expanding carbon capture and storage capabilities here in the U.S. and abroad,” Harvey said. “We applaud this coalition of Houston companies that have recognized our region as the ideal location for a global-scale CCS network that would serve as the model for developments elsewhere in the world.”

“Solving the dual challenge of meeting the demand for ever-increasing amounts of energy to support a growing, modernizing global population while also achieving net zero emissions by 2050 will require novel solutions and technologies,” Harvey added. “This coordinated, widescale deployment of CCS in Houston will be of the scale and magnitude to drive real results.”

Learn more about energy transition efforts in Houston. 

Related News

Economic Development

Greentown Labs Launches Cross-Collaboration with Startups, Universities to Jumpstart Innovations

10/31/22
Greentown Labs continues to show its support for fostering energy innovation in Houston as the city aims to lead the world’s energy transition. The climatetech startup incubator has launched the Texas Entrepreneurship Exchange for Energy (TEX-E) to support students in developing next-generation innovations. The collaborative initiative includes MIT’s Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship, a research and teaching center that provides expertise, support and connections to MIT students, and five Texas universities, including Rice University, the University of Houston, Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University and the University of Texas. “Houston has long been known as the energy capital of the world, but to lead the world’s energy transition, the city must create a strong, vibrant innovation ecosystem to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and energy companies,” said Lara Cottingham, Chief of Staff at Greentown Labs, in a press release.  Students participating in the program will have access to mentorship with Greentown Labs’ entrepreneurs, networking events, career opportunities and cross-learning with MIT. The initiative will help continue to pave the way for Houston to solidify its role as the leader of the global energy transition. “The TEX-E collaboration will provide valuable opportunities to our students, and Houston is a natural location to create such an ecosystem,” said Ramanan Krishnamoorti, vice president for energy and innovation at the University of Houston, in a press release. “Training new talent and supporting their pursuit of innovative ideas are vital in addressing the growing global need for affordable, reliable, and environmentally sustainable energy.” Greentown Houston experienced a successful first year, attracting more than 60 startups, including several that relocated from outside the U.S., proof that Houston is where Energy 2.0 companies want to be. From 2017 to 2021, venture capital funding in Houston’s energy space totaled more than $327 million. More than 4,700 energy-related firms are located within the Houston metro. “Boston and Houston might seem like an odd pairing, but they complement one another beautifully,” said Ben Soltoff, Ecosystem Builder and Entrepreneur in Residence at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. Despite Boston’s strong climate innovation ecosystem, startups looking to scale up “look towards Texas, where they can find talent, space, and industry knowhow in spades. Together, these two regions are unstoppable,” Soltoff said. TEX-E is also in line with the Partnership’s Houston Energy Transition Initiative, which aims to position Houston to lead the global energy transition to a more efficient and sustainable, low-carbon future, by deploying key strategies, including jumpstarting emerging technologies. 
Read More
Energy

Energy Forum Aims to Inform Lawmakers on Key Topics Ahead of Texas Legislative Session

10/19/22
Ahead of the upcoming legislative session, the Greater Houston Partnership's Public Policy Division held the first in a series of legislative energy forums aimed at educating legislative and policy staffers on Houston's leadership in the energy transition and the need for lawmakers to act on central issues such as carbon capture. The forum included a presentation and an industry panel moderated by Scott Nyquist, Vice Chairman of Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI) for the Greater Houston Partnership. During his presentation, Nyquist discussed the vital role energy plays in funding our state budget, creating jobs and strengthening energy security. "Texas is a global energy leader, and the state needs the energy sector to remain a growth engine for the region by leveraging opportunities within the energy transition," Nyquist said. Through HETI, Houston's incumbent energy industry is nurturing the rapidly growing energy transition ecosystem and seeing measurable successes leading to investments, jobs and meaningful innovation.  The panel portion of the event featured critical conversations about who is driving the transition and why Texas companies like Baker Hughes are leading investors in innovative, emissions-reducing technologies. "There's the dual challenge of climate change and the need for reliable energy," Bruce Wilcoxon, Senior Public Policy Manager at Baker Hughes analogized, “it's like saying we're going on vacation, do we bring the kids or the luggage – you have to do both.” Nick McKenna, Vice President of Midland Basin at ConocoPhillips, provided context to the transition conversations happening today, "the energy industry has always been in a state of transition." He highlighted how Texas companies like ConocoPhillips are raising the bar to meet growing energy demand in cleaner and more efficient ways. Just as the Partnership serves as a strategic partner for the industry to lead on the energy transition, we need lawmakers and regulators to recognize their role in supporting the policies needed for Texas to remain a global energy leader. For more information on the legislative energy forum series, please contact Caroline Wylie at cwylie@houston.org  
Read More

Related Events