By Ucilia Wang
Biofuels Power Corp. (OTCQB:BFLS) said Friday it plans to build a 4-megawatt power plant that will make electricity from woodchips and other debris left in the wake of Hurricane Ike.
The company also plans to capture and store carbon-dioxide emissions from the plant at an abandoned oil field near Houston.
The Woodlands, Texas-based company, traded over the counter using the symbol "BFLS," on Friday signed a preliminary agreement with a wood-waste storage operator, DSMC, and with a consulting firm, Texoga Technologies Corp., that will retrofit abandoned oil wells for carbon-dioxide storage.
Biofuels Power and DSMC will each hold a 30 percent equity stake in the project, while Texoga will get 10 percent. Other undisclosed investors will own the remaining 30 percent. Texoga spun off Biofuels Power in 2007.
The pilot project will make use of wood chips and refuse left behind by the powerful Hurricane Ike, which swept through the Gulf Coast in September. A lot of the material will be coming from Galveston, Texas, which was particularly hard hit by the hurricane, said Robert Wilson, a spokesman for Biofuels Power.
DSMC, based in Humble, Texas, has handled a bulk of waste disposal from the hurricane cleanup effort.
Wilson didn't return calls asking when the company plans to begin building the project and delivering the electricity, and where it will get any additional sources of feedstock.
After all, at some point, the project will have used up all of the debris from Hurricane Ike. Of course, there is no shortage of hurricanes that threaten the Gulf Coast every year. And scientists believe that global warming will likely cause more intense hurricanes.
Biofuels Power already operates two biodiesel-fueled power plants, a 5-megawatt facility in Oak Ridge North, Texas, and a 10-megawatt plant in Montgomery County, Texas.
The company plans to build the pilot plant on six acres owned by DSMC and located at the Humble Salt Dome, which Biofuels Power said has been "largely inactive" for the last five decades.
The companies will pump the emissions into several abandoned oil wells, which might lead to oil production once again, Biofuels Power said.
Carbon capture and sequestration is a promising but unproven technology intended to keep human-made emissions stored so that they don't escape into the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.
Companies and government scientists globally are researching technologies to capture carbon-dioxide emissions and bury them deep underground, in tapped-out or declining gas and oil reservoirs, coal mine seams or other geological formations (see Canada to Beat U.S. to Carbon Storage and Vattenfall to Trap Carbon Emissions).