ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING — Frontier Carbon Solutions is a company that offers safe and permanent solutions of carbon storage for industrial emitters across the Mountain West. The Frontier Carbon Solutions project is now ready to enter the corners of Sweetwater, Lincoln, and Uinta Counties.
Timeline of Construction
Frontier Carbon Solutions is currently in the public comment phase of receiving its three class six permits which will be completed on October 24. Once they have their class six permits in hand, they will begin their first drilling program in the spring of 2024, depending on the winter Wyoming is expected to have.
Temporary and Permanent Employees
For temporary employees, it’s going to be significant due to the large complexity of the construction. Alicia Summers Chief Development Officer says at this time they do not have those numbers just yet on how many temporary employees they will need but that an engineering study will fine-tune what those numbers are.
As for permanent employees, the company envisions a high level of 20 – 25 permanent employees for each one million tons of CO2 that are captured. This would amount to 20-25 employees for each capture facility.
Again, this will be fine-tuned in the upcoming engineering studies.
What are the Plans to Recruit Employees?
For construction, Frontier Carbon Solutions will work with reputable firms in the area. When it comes to operations, the company has already been in discussions with Western Wyoming Community College. Therefore, they will be working through the local community college programs and other programs in the area to source that talent.
Summers stated, “For the sub-surface side of it, we are all long-time oil and gas professionals and we have experience specifically in Sweetwater County so we will leverage some of those existing relationships to help operate on that side on the transportation of the CO2 and on the sub-surface side.”
Local Workforce Training Programs
Summers noted that so far they do not have enough resources by any means, but luckily the skillsets that exist in the area lend themselves to the same work that they will need for their project. Within the area, there is not as much oil and gas activity. However, they will have a few jobs available which would help those who have that skill set.
Summers added that some of the due diligence that they have done in the area circles around education. Therefore, they are trying to develop new programs as well that are not just at the college level but also at the high school level. This will benefit the students who are graduating with the ability to enter the workforce. In turn, this keeps the option open with enough jobs for those young adults to stay in the area than feel the need to leave once they graduate.
Frontier Carbon Solutions Questioned
Elizabeth Bingham the MC at the panel asked, “With the robust industrial expansions in Southwest Wyoming nearing, will you share with us how the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub can help support these growing industries?”
Summers responded “Whether we like it or not these market conditions suggest that carbon emissions are going to be the cost of doing business. With the Sweetwater carbon storage hub we plan on working with local industries to capture their CO2 safely, securely, and economically reduce their carbon footprint, and help offset their carbon emissions. Looking back at what is going on with coal, if we had a solution back then, maybe some of these mines would not be decommissioned like they are now, so we are here to fit that piece of the puzzle, and those industries are not replaced by other alternatives either here locally or others in the nation or in other countries.”
Bingham also asked, “You recently partnered with the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources, on their largest grant to support the development of a new large-scale commercial carbon storage project in the Greater Green River Basin, what are the next steps for that project?”
Summers said they are super excited and a little bit nervous too because it is the largest. However, they are excited that they partnered with the University of Wyoming. Moving forward, Summers expressed that they have been a huge resource from the very beginning when they first started their project.
Summer explains that they are currently in the negotiation period with the DOE, which typically takes a little bit of time, but they anticipate kick-off to be in January 2024. With that, Summers stated it will be about two years of conducting science and studies that will benefit the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub, Frontier Carbon Solutions, University of Wyoming, SER, and Southwest Wyoming. Summers explained that there is a large component of community benefits that goes into these grants therefore they dedicate a portion to what they can do for the local community.
What are the Plans for Housing Construction and Full-Time Employees?
Summers was not afraid to explain that she is in over her head regarding how to go about the housing market for Frontier Carbon Solutions and the other companies coming in. Summers added that they have been working with multiple county officials to figure out the best way to go about this problem. She ended with hoping that all the companies that are coming into the area can work together collaboratively on the housing issue.
Partnerships and Engagements:
Summers expressed the importance of proper carbon capture technology and education of that technology as well as the education of CO2 to all the landowners. Summers emphasized that educating the public is huge because many people fail to understand the real hazards of CO2 in concentrated forms. She says that the company also took the opportunity while educating to listen to others and ask “What do you need, and where can we help?” Summers explains that they are still developing those ideas on what they do with the community, including educating the high school students. The Nature Conservancy has also worked with Frontier Carbon Solutions and has asked them to help them with some of the projects they have. Summers stated all in all “The training is huge and they are listening.”
To learn more regarding Frontier Carbon Solutions, click here.