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  • Aemetis Inc.

Aemetis awarded 1st CO2-sequestration characterization-well permit issued by state of California

Aemetis Inc. announced July 18 that its Aemetis Carbon Capture subsidiary has been awarded the first CO2-sequestration characterization-well permit issued by the state of California.

All of the necessary city, county, regional and state agency permits have been received to drill the CO2-sequestration characterization well on the 24-acre Riverbank site that was acquired by Aemetis in 2022.

A high-capacity access road and operational pad for the deep-well drilling rig and related equipment has already been completed.

The characterization well is designed to be drilled to a depth of about 8,000 feet in order to obtain the soil-composition data required for the issuance of a final EPA Class VI carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) well permit.

The CCS injection well is expected to sequester about 1.4 million metric tons per year of CO2, with approximately 200,000 tons of CO2 per year produced by the Aemetis sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel plant under development on an adjacent parcel of the 125-acre Riverbank site.

“The Aemetis project has achieved a significant milestone as the first fully permitted CO2-sequestration characterization well in California, requiring the cooperation of many state, regional and local agencies,” said Brian Fojtasek of ATSI, the project manager for the Aemetis Carbon Capture CCS project at Riverbank. “Over a 20-year period, the Riverbank CO2 sequestration project is expected to inject and sequester about 28 million metric tons of CO2 captured in saline formations deep underground and protected by multiple layers of caprock.”

Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis, added, “We would like to express appreciation to the White House and the federal EPA in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco for their strong support of the Aemetis project and willingness to work proactively with California agencies to review the project and issue the various permits required to drill the Riverbank CO2 characterization well. Brian is a former Exxon refining engineer and has commissioned a $10 billion refinery and a $4 billion refinery as project manager. Working together for the past five years on a variety of projects, the Aemetis and ATSI team has demonstrated an ability to timely execute on one of the most complex parts of a CCS project—well-drilling permits.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom stated in a letter to the California Air Resources Board on July 22, 2022, “Simply put, it will not be possible to eliminate all emissions across our economy, so achieving carbon neutrality will rely on carbon sequestration … I request that CARB set a 20-million-metric-ton carbon-removal target for 2030 and 100-million-metric-ton carbon-removal target for 2045.”

The Aemetis project at the Riverbank site is designed to contribute to carbon removal in California.

According to CARB, California’s greenhouse-gas emissions were 369 million metric tons in 2020.


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