Calgary, Alta. – The world’s first open-source repository of knowledge and information about the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS/CCUS) projects will be established by the International CCS Knowledge Centre (Knowledge Centre) with foundational support from the Government of Alberta.
As a key action item included in Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan released April 19, 2023, the Government of Alberta is providing $3 million for the creation of a national CCS knowledge sharing hub that will be an important tool for Canada to meet its ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The mandate of the CCS knowledge sharing hub will be to collect and curate best practices and lessons learned from Canadian CCS projects past, present and future – drawing on knowledge from as many projects as possible from initial planning and feasibility studies, through to construction and ongoing operations – to enhance the success of CCS projects and promote continuous learning and improvement in CCS technology. Expansion of CCS is also a crucial step for creating and maintaining vital jobs in all heavy emitting sectors provincially and nationally in such areas as cement, iron and steel, power generation, petrochemicals, fertilizer, and oil and gas.
“Bringing large-scale CCS projects to life at the speed and scale that is required to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 requires unprecedented collaboration between industry, government, academia and other partners. The most effective way of reducing risk, lowering costs and improving performance of these multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects is to share our proven expertise and apply the experience gained across heavy-emitting industries in order to build a sustainable future for all,” said James Millar, president and chief executive officer of the International CCS Knowledge Centre.
“We are very grateful to the Government of Alberta for stepping up with this critical support, allowing us to launch the CCS knowledge sharing hub and ensure lessons learned from dozens of CCS projects planned across Canada are documented and made available to anyone who can benefit from them,” Millar added. “I would be remiss in not singling out the strong leadership of Environment and Protected Areas Minister Sonya Savage in helping to ensure this initiative moves forward.”
“Carbon capture and storage is a critical part of Alberta’s path to achieving a net-zero economy. With projects such as the Quest CCS facility operated by Shell Canada, and the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, we have led the world in developing CCUS facilities and proving the capability of this technology to drastically cut CO2 emissions from the industries that are the bedrock of our economy and are the lifeblood of our communities. We look forward to working with the Knowledge Centre to ensure that Alberta and Canada remain at the forefront and capture the enormous opportunities that are before us as the world undertakes an aggressive expansion of CCS to curb rising emissions and address climate change,” said Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Sonya Savage.
The CCS knowledge sharing hub will be developed and operated by the International CCS Knowledge Centre to assess and identify best practices and frameworks to get CCS projects to final investment decision. Key to the initiative’s long-term success will be coordination and proactive promotion of the sharing of knowledge on CCS gathered from companies large and small to ensure the timely and efficient transfer of CCS best practices across Alberta, Canada and the globe – outcomes where industry and government jointly benefit. Sharing critical information on the development of projects from study stage into operation will greatly increase the transfer of crucial learnings, leading to better outcomes and inevitably a greater level of CO2 emission reductions in Canada.
At a global level, the world can’t afford not to pursue large-scale CCS as a key tool for meeting international climate commitments. The International Energy Agency and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have concluded a massive investment in large-scale CCS is required in order to achieve the emissions reductions needed to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 2ºC. The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report Summary for Policy Makers forecast that the cost of climate mitigation would increase by 138 per cent without the application of CCS technologies.
The International CCS Knowledge Centre provides independent consultation and technical advisory services on large-scale CCS projects around the world, including a number of Alberta companies pursuing CCS projects as part of their long-term sustainability plans, including:
- Completing the feasibility study (with funding provided by Emissions Reduction Alberta) and supporting front-end engineering and design (FEED) planning for the world’s first full-scale CCS facility on a cement plant at Heidelberg Materials’ Edmonton plant.
- Supporting early-stage engineering work on CCS projects planned by several members of the Pathways Alliance, a coalition of the six largest oil sands producers that is planning to invest more than $24 billion in CCS and other emissions reduction technologies by the end of the decade in order to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
- Partnering with Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) to provide successful applicants of the ERA’s Carbon Capture Kickstart with up to 200 hours of support on their pre-construction design and engineering studies for carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) projects, with funding provided by ERA. The 11 successful projects represent an estimated $20 billion in capital expenditures in a wide range of industrial sectors, including power generation, cement, fertilizer, forest products and oil and gas.