The Alberta government is surging ahead on its climate change action plan with two new funds totaling $4 billion to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions equal to taking more than a million cars off the road each year. The province will create a $2-billion fund to advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects while a second $2-billion fund will propel energy-saving public transit in Alberta.
'We’re tackling both sides of the emissions challenge on behalf of Albertans and all Canadians,' said Premier Ed Stelmach. 'We’re reducing the impact of industrial emissions with carbon capture and storage and investing in public transit to reduce the impact from our tailpipes.'
Stelmach said while other jurisdictions talk, his government’s Climate Change Strategy has legislated real targets and real action. 'With this announcement we will continue to demonstrate leadership and encourage the federal government and Alberta industries to make real investments in carbon capture and storage.'
Funds will be allocated to encourage construction of Alberta’s first large-scale CCS projects. The province has issued a request for expressions of interest to begin identifying those CCS proposals with the greatest potential of being built quickly and those which provide the best opportunities to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
With the potential to reduce emissions at facilities such as coal-fired electricity plants and oil sands extraction sites and up graders, the $2-billion fund will support CCS projects that are expected to reduce emissions by up to five million tonnes annually. That is the equivalent of taking a million vehicles off the road, or one-third of all vehicles registered in Alberta.
In addition, the equivalent of thousands more Alberta vehicles will be taken off streets and highways through $2 billion in public transit investments. The Green Transit Incentives Program (Green TRIP) will promote the use of local, regional and inter-city public transit. The program will support new public transit alternatives throughout the province that will significantly reduce the number of vehicles on Alberta roads and reduce GHG emissions.
Funds for the two initiatives will come from this year’s surplus, which the province expects will be significantly larger than predicted due to higher-than-forecast oil and gas prices.
Alberta’s Climate Change Action Plan, which will cut projected GHG emissions in half by 2050, is based on three key areas: carbon capture and storage; energy conservation and efficiency; and greening energy production.
Expressions of Interest Sought
The Alberta government invites expressions of interest (EOI) from the private sector for a new initiative titled: 'Carbon Capture and Storage Projects in Alberta.' Interested parties are invited to submit proposals, summarizing the nature of the project, the parties that could be engaged in the project, the timeframe by which CO2 injection could commence their investment interest and preferred participation model. The EOI should focus on specific projects, at specific sites, leading to large-scale capture, transport and injection of CO2, rather than on only front-end engineering studies.
After an evaluation process to determine which projects are near the construction phase and may be appropriate for support, the Alberta Government will invite the proponents of the EOI that are accepted for consideration of co-funding to submit Full Project Proposals (FPP). Details of the Terms and Conditions for the FPP will be announced prior to the issuance of that request. The Alberta Government would consider providing a portion of the eligible costs for CCS projects in
Alberta, which may include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Development of a polygeneration facility using coal/coke/asphaltene/other related gasification to produce hydrogen and steam for electricity
- Existing or new upgrader using petroleum coal/coke/ asphaltene /other related gasification
- Existing or new steam methane reformers using carbon capture technology
- New coal-fired electricity facility using coal gasification
- Retrofit of a coal-fired electricity facility using post-combustion capture technology
- Development of a poly-generation facility using petroleum coal /coke /asphaltene/ other related gasification to produce synthetic gas for fertilizer/chemical feedstock and steam for electricity (may also have hydrogen)
- Existing manufacturing facilities that produce a pure stream of CO2 (cement, chemicals, fertilizers) implementing capture and storage technology to be defined
- Other specific projects with the potential to significantly reduce or store the CO2 emissions of key value-added sectors of the Alberta economy