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2010/20 (a)


Natural Resources Canada Opens the CanmetENERGY CO2 Research Facility (CanCO2)

The Government of Canada is determined that Canada remains a world leader in the development and use of state-of-the-art carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Not only could carbon capture and storage drastically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada but, by sharing its expertise and experience in CCS technology with other countries, Canada could also make a major contribution to the reduction of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The CanmetENERGY CO2 Research Facility represents a significant milestone in accelerating the research and demonstration of advanced CCS technologies in the pursuit of reducing GHG emissions and CCS costs.

One of the priority areas identified by the Government of Canada and the International Energy Agency (IEA) to advance the science and technology of CCS is reducing the cost of CO2 capture for storage. This is the one of the main barriers to the commercialization of CCS. The CanmetENERGY CO2 Research Facility will focus on improving efficiency and reducing the cost of CCS, therefore making capture more affordable. This will allow our abundant fossil fuel resources to remain as viable options within a diversified energy system to ensure the security of Canada’s energy supply.

The Zero Emissions Technologies Group of CanmetENERGY’s Ottawa laboratory developed the CO2 Research Facility through a public–private partnership from Natural Resources Canada’s Program for Energy Research and Development (PERD), Technology and Innovation (T&I), the Government of Canada’s ecoETI and CanmetENERGY’s CO2 R&D Consortium. Current members include the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI), Babcock & Wilcox (B&W), Ontario Power Generation, SaskPower, USDOE-NETL, and CO2 Capture Project (CCP) (a consortium consisting of Eni Group, StatoilHydro, Shell, BP, Suncor, Chevron Petrobras, and ConocoPhillips).

Canada is taking action at home and on the world stage to produce real, tangible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. By investing in large-scale CCS demonstration projects as well as research facilities like the CanCO2, the Government of Canada is helping achieve these goals.

Research Highlights:

  • The CanmetENERGY CO2 Research Facility has been fully integrated with NRCan’s pilot-scale oxy-fuel research facility. Research conducted using this new integrated facility will offer unparalleled insight into the issues surrounding the integration of CO2 capture with clean coal systems.
  • Coal-fired electricity and natural gas processing offer perhaps the best opportunities in the short term for deploying CO2 capture technology and sequestering CO2 in geological formations.
  • The critical next steps are demonstration projects, carbon pricing and technology advancement through research and development:
    • Demonstration projects need to advance in order to prove and increase the cost-effectiveness of CCS on a large commercial scale in key sectors. In 2008, G8 Leaders committed to launching 20 large-scale fully integrated demonstration projects by 2010, when Canada hosts the G8 Leaders.
    • GHG regulations that put a price on carbon emissions are under development and will provide an incentive for the deployment of transformational technologies like CCS.
  • Canada is a leader in demonstrating the viability of CO2 injection and storage combined with enhanced oil recovery. In particular, the project in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, is one of only seven fully integrated demonstrations of CCS worldwide at the operational stage and is also the site of the world’s first comprehensive CO2 measurement, monitoring and verification (MMV) project.
  • Federal and provincial governments have committed upwards of $3.5 billion dollars in public funding for advancing four to six large-scale CCS demonstration projects. This will go a long way to not just meeting the G8 goal of launching 20 demonstration projects by 2010 but also enhancing Canada’s leadership in contributing to the world’s understanding and the advancement of the state of CCS technology.

    This support includes a $240-million federal commitment in 2008 to fund one of the world’s first and largest CCS projects at a coal-fired electricity plant in Saskatchewan. The 2009 federal budget created a $1-billion Clean Energy Fund, which includes $650 million for CCS demonstrations. The federal ecoENERGY Technology initiative recently announced $140 million for the initial engineering and/or pilot stages of eight potential demonstration projects.

    The provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia have also committed funding for demonstrations, in particular $2 billion by Alberta for projects that are expected to be announced later this year. Overall, this public funding will leverage additional investment from industry for projects that will each capture and store on the order of one million tonnes of CO2 per year, coming online starting in 2015.
  • Canada will be working with organizations such as the IEA in developing assessment criteria for the 20 G8 projects. Canada will also work domestically and internationally to ensure that public investment in demonstration projects supports broader learning and capacity building.

In February 2009, Canada announced the Clean Energy Dialogue with the U.S. to encourage the development of technologies to reduce GHG emissions and combat climate change, which includes a major focus on CCS.

Media may contact:

Mary-Ann Dewey-Plante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister 
Natural Resources Canada


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

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