Rentech Energy Midwest Corporation

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{{#badges: CoalSwarm}} Rentech Energy Midwest Corporation is a proposed coal gasification facility in East Dubuque, Illinois.

As part of the purchase of Royster-Clark Nitrogen, Inc., Rentech Development Corporation acquired a natural gas-fed nitrogen fertilizer plant in East Dubuque, Illinois.[1] In 2006, Rentech proposed converting the existing nitrogen fertilizer plant to a coal gasification facility called Rentech Energy Midwest Corporation.[2]

On Dec. 5, 2007, Rentech announced that the plant was being put on hold; the company cited “pressure” put on the project by a lack of national CO2 emissions policy, and intends to build a smaller gasification facility in Natchez, Mississippi, instead.[3]

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The Natchez Project

On Dec. 15, 2009, Rentech announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") with thirteen domestic and international passenger and cargo airline carriers to serve as a framework for a future definitive supply agreement for certified jet fuel from Rentech's proposed synthetic fuels and power facility in Adams County, Mississippi ("Natchez Project").[4]

The non-binding MOU signed by Rentech and Air Canada, AirTran Airways, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, JetBlue Airways, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, Polar Air Cargo, United Airlines, UPS Airlines, and US Airways includes terms that are anticipated to serve as the basis of a possible definitive purchase agreement for the Natchez Project's entire synthetic jet fuel production of approximately 250 million gallons per year. Fuel based on the Fischer-Tropsch process, including Rentech's RenJet, is the only alternative jet fuel currently certified for use in commercial aviation at up to a 50/50 blend with traditional jet fuel.[4]

The Natchez Project as currently contemplated would produce approximately 400 million gallons per year of synthetic fuels and chemicals and over 120 megawatts of power from fossil feedstocks, with the possible integration of renewable feedstocks processed with Rentech's biomass gasification technologies.[4]

Natchez and Carbon Capture

Rentech has contracted to sell all of the carbon dioxide to be captured at this proposed facility to Denbury Onshore, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Denbury Resources Inc., member of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association. Carbon dioxide purchased under the contract would be used for enhanced oil recovery at Denbury's Cranfield oil field in Southwest Mississippi, as well as at the company's oil fields within the greater Gulf Coast area. The Cranfield oil field is currently hosting a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored carbon sequestration project to inject more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide into an underground rock formation, followed by additional injections into the saline portion of the reservoir more than 10,000 feet below the surface.[4]

Project Details

Sponsor: Rentech, Inc.
Location: East Dubuque, IL
Size: 76 MW electricity plus diesel fuel and fertilizer
Type: coal gasification
Projected in service: 2010
Status: On hold (December 5, 2007)


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