Canada’s federal government puts up coal plant CCS funds

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, announced March 20 an investment of C$14m in Aquistore, a carbon capture and storage demonstration project near Estevan, Saskatchewan.

 Oliver was joined for the announcement by Saskatchewan Minister of Environment Dustin Duncan. The government of Canada is contributing C$9m through its ecoENERGY Technology Initiative and C$5m through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to the project.

“The Government of Canada is strengthening its support for carbon capture and storage,” said Oliver. “The Aquistore Project is an example of governments, academia and industry working together to advance clean energy technologies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“The Aquistore Project represents a first in the world: the first time carbon dioxide is sequestered safely at this scale in the ground from a coal-burning plant,” said SDTC President and CEO Vicky Sharpe. “It is clean tech innovation like this that will help drive the Canadian economy, creating jobs and economic growth, and a source of innovative solutions.”

The Aquistore project is being managed by the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) in collaboration with partners in the private sector and academia. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment is also investing C$5m through its Go Green Fund.

“The government of Saskatchewan’s investment in the Aquistore Project will help the province in meeting its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Duncan. “Designed to safely sequester 2,000 tonnes of GHG emissions per day deep underground, the project is indicative of the innovative technologies that are currently being demonstrated here in Saskatchewan for the world to see.”

“This federal and provincial support to undertake independent research is essential for the future of carbon capture and storage advancement in Canada and the world,” said Malcolm Wilson, CEO of PTRC. “The learnings from Aquistore will be transferable to industry and governments globally and will help inform the creation of industry-wide CO2 capture and storage regulations and policies.”

This demonstration project will be one of the first in the world to capture CO2 from a coal-fired power plant. The storage of CO2 will largely take place deep underground in the Williston Basin in southeastern Saskatchewan, southwestern Manitoba, North and South Dakota, and Montana. This sedimentary basin is made up of alternating porous rocks, such as limestones and sandstones, and non-porous rocks, such as shales, anhydrite and salt.

Aquistore is a two-phase project. The first phase, expected to run to the end of 2013, will involve research, evaluation and the drilling of a test well for the injection of water and a small amount of CO2. In the second phase, Aquistore will integrate with a commercial-scale CO2 capture, transport and storage operation. The source of the captured CO2 will be SaskPower’s Boundary Dam coal plant, with delivery anticipated in 2014.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.