Navigator CO2 Ventures halts Illinois pipeline development, faces permit challenges in other states

Navigator CO2 Ventures LLC, on October 10, has opted to withdraw its permit application for constructing almost 300 miles of CO2 pipeline in Illinois. This decision, filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission, comes as the company reconsiders both the route and broader elements of its Navigator Heartland Greenway pipeline initiative.

A company representative clarified, “In alignment with our recent submissions in adjoining states, we’re undertaking a comprehensive route reassessment. Mindful of the Illinois Commerce Commission’s resources, we’re temporarily retracting our application and will consider revisiting the permit process after our full evaluation.”

Navigator, in March 2021, unveiled its intention to operate a sprawling CO2 pipeline, covering approximately 1,300 miles. This system was designed to carry CO2 from over 21 ethanol and fertilizer plants across five states to a designated Illinois location for secure underground storage. This stored CO2 would also be available for commercial and industrial applications.

By February 2023, Navigator had sought the Illinois Commerce Commission’s approval for the construction and maintenance of 292 miles of this pipeline, which would traverse 14 counties within the state.

However, the company’s recent Illinois application withdrawal is in the wake of permit refusals in South Dakota and subsequent project pauses in regions like Iowa. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission denied Navigator’s permit for a 112-mile pipeline section on September 26, while earlier in that month, they also turned down Navigator’s appeal to override county rules for the project’s betterment. Furthermore, by the end of September, Navigator communicated to the Iowa Utilities Board its intent to halt ongoing activities until the company presents an update, indicating a review of its Iowa route due to regulatory decisions in nearby states and individual landholder requests.

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