Carbon dioxide emission and carbon capture and storage in Canada

This entry was posted by Thursday, 3 March, 2011
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The Government of Canada is committed to reduce greenhouse gases by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020 – a goal that will require Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) development.

Canada is a world leader in the development of a number of technologies, from carbon capture and storage to the use of forest and agricultural by-products to generate clean energy.

Although major sources of electricity in Canada are renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydropower, coal accounts for 20% of electricity production.  So CCS is necessary to reduce Co2 emissions.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed the importance of CCS on July 9, 2009, stating on his website that “Canada is a world leader in Carbon Capture and Storage, and we are in an excellent position to use this technology on a wide scale. Carbon Capture and Storage can help us balance our need for energy to protect the environment.”

Canada has also partnered with U.S. through clean energy dialogue, to make progress in clean energy technologies.

Canada has necessary components like many large industrial co2 emission sources where capture can occur, world-class geological storage locations closer to the capture locations, engineering expertise developed over 100 years of oil and gas development etc. to make CCS a success.

Canada has a large scale potential for carbon capture and storage. Canada’s biggest advantage in its fight against climate change is its storage opportunity in Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) which can hold more than 100 billion tonnes of Co2.  Besides WCSB Atlantic Canada and Southern Ontario offer safe and secure storage reservoirs.

The International Energy Agency, in its June 2010 progress report to the G8, identified five fully-integrated, large-scale CCS projects in commercial operation around the world.  Among those 5 projects, one project is in Canada – Cenovus’ Weyburn EOR project in Saskatchewan is Canada’s first CCS project.  Other full scale Canadian projects include SaskPower’s Boundary Dam project at a coal-fired electricity power plant and Spectra Energy’s Fort Nelson project.

These are some of the Canadian carbon capture and storage organizations:

  • Carbon management Canada
  • International Performance Assessment Centre for Geological Storage of Co2
  • Canadian clean power coalition

Carbon management Canada Inc. is a national research network focused on carbon management in Canada’s fossil energy sector. Carbon management funds work in four broad areas:

  • Producing technologies to recover and process fossil fuels in ways to reduce Co2 emissions
  • Seeking technologies for carbon capture and storage
  • Discovering safe and secure methods for underground storage of Co2
  • Creating the policy and regulatory frameworks to allow for the deployment of publicly-accepted technologies

International Performance Assessment Centre for Geological Storage of Co2 (IPAC-Co2) is assembling team of international experts to conduct an independent inquiry in to the Weyburn Carbon capture and storage.

Canadian clean power coalition (CCPC) is an association of responsible, leading Canadian electricity producers. The CCPC’s mandate is to research technologies with the goal of developing and advancing commercially viable solutions that lower coal power plant emissions. Its objective is to demonstrate that coal-fired electricity generation can effectively and economically address environmental issues including CO2 emissions.

Research and development in clean coal and CCS in Canada:


  • CanmetENERGY (Natural Resources Canada) – CCT and CCS
  • University of Regina – International Test Centre


  • IEA GHG Weyburn – Midale Co2 Monitoring and Storage project
  • North American Carbon Storage Atlas Project
  • Universities of Calgary, Alberta and Saskatchewan
  • Alberta Innovates – Technology Solutions (Alberta Research Council)
  • CCS consortium – Dalhousie University
  • University of Quebec (INRS)

Legal, Regulatory, Economic and Performance Analyses:

  • University of Regina – IPAC – Co2
  • University of Calgary (ISEEE)

Four large (>1MT/year) Integrated demonstration projects in Canada:

Transalta Project Pioneer:

Transalta project entails the construction of a large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at a coal-fired generating station west of Edmonton, Alberta jointly owned by TransAlta and Capital Power. Project Pioneer will be retrofitted onto the Keephills 3 coal-fired power plant which – when it is commissioned in 2011 – will already be one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the world. The pioneer project comprises retrofit with Alstom’s chilled ammonia post – combustion Co2 capture technology. The capital cost of the power plant alone will be $1.7 billion.

Saskpower Boundary Dam Project:

This is one the world’s first and largest (140MW) integrated CCS demonstration projects at a lignite-fired power plant which is located near Estevan, Saskatchewan. This projects aim is to capture 1Mt of Co2 per year for Enhanced Oil Recovery. Phase I of this project should be completed by 2013, and involves the reduction of output from 139MW to 120mW. Phase II involves the reduction of the output from 120MW to 100MW and to further reduce GHG emissions and this phase should be completed by 2015. Total project cost will be $1.4 billion.

Swan Hills Synfuel project:

This project is utilizing in-situ coal gasification technology to turn; deep stranded coal in to clean syngas in Alberta. This syngas will be used as fuel for very efficient low – emission power generation.  This project will capture and sequester over 1.3 million tonnes of Co2 per year and is scheduled to be operational in 2015. Total cost of the project will be $1.5 billion.

Weyburn – Midale project:

This 11 year project launched in 2000, studies the Co2 injection and storage underground in depleted oil fields. The project is operated in Saskatchewan, where huge volumes of the gas are captured from an industrial source and injected to revive oil production.


Canada is engaging internationally and among the world leaders in CCS. Over$3.5 billion in public funding allocated to CCS by federal, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia Governments.

Carbon Capture and Storage, Clean Coal Technology, Greenhouse Gas

3 Responses to “Carbon dioxide emission and carbon capture and storage in Canada”

  1. Michael John

    A project to supply carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in Alberta is on track to break ground next year.

    Enhance Energy Inc. plans to start construction in 2012 of CO2 capture facilities at the Agrium Inc. fertilizer plant in the Redwater area near Edmonton, said Susan Cole, president of Enhance.

    Work on the CO2 capture facilities will start first because those will take longer to build than the pipeline, which is slated for construction in the summer of 2013, Cole said.


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