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Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a clean energy technology that aims to capture emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas (GHG), before they are released into the atmosphere from industrial facilities. The technology has the potential to help Canada balance the need for energy with the need to protect the environment.
Canada is a world leader in CCS and is in an excellent position to pursue this technology. The development of CCS is one component of a broad suite of measures the Government of Canada is pursuing to meet its GHG emission reduction target of 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, a target that reflects the importance of aligning with the United States.
The Government of Canada is strengthening its support for CCS with substantial investments in both large- and small-scale demonstration projects. Working collaboratively, the Government of Canada and the Governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia have provided more than $3 billion in funding for CCS.
The Government of Canada is contributing a total of $14 million to the Aquistore carbon capture and storage project, near Estevan, Saskatchewan. This funding includes $9 million through its ecoENERGY Technology Initiative and $5 million through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).
The Aquistore Project is being managed by the Petroleum Technology Research Centre, based in Regina, Saskatchewan. The Government of Saskatchewan, private sector companies and academia are also partnering in this demonstration project, which 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, with delivery anticipated in 2014.
Aquistore has benefits for both Saskatchewan and Canada, including a reduction in carbon emissions; the creation of around 50 jobs in the construction, research, administrative and management fields; and establishing Saskatchewan and Canada as leaders in clean energy research and technology development.
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