Shaw Group to Invest $50 Million in Carbon-Capture Company

The Baton Rouge-based Shaw Group Inc. announced plans last week to invest up to $50.4 million in a new type of power-plant technology that captures carbon dioxide.

Shaw plans to buy up to half of the startup company that developed the technology, called Net Power LLC.

Energy powerhouse Exelon Corp. is also partnernig to market the first power plant, a 25-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant that will be located somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.  Net Power says the plant will capture all emissions, including carbon dioxide, and sell both the electricity the plant generates and the carbon dioxide it captures.  The CO2 will be sold to oil producers in an existing market for the gas, which is used to produce oil.

“This next-generation technology, which was invented and is being developed here in the United States, will be of great interest to both electricity-generating utilities, as well as oil recovery and exploration companies,” Shaw Chairman and Chief Executive J.M. Bernhard Jr. said in a statement.

Net Power, of Durham, N.C., is working to commercialize technologies that capture carbon dioxide at much lower cost than technologies that are currently available.  Net Power was conceived, incubated, and capitalized by 8 Rivers Capital Company, a Durham technology commercialization firm that specializes in bringing new ideas to market.  Part of the company is owned by Duke University.