Canada Natural Resources Minister Says More Carbon Capture Projects Are Coming

Canada Natural Resources Minister Says More Carbon Capture Projects Are Coming - Carbon Herald
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Canada energy minister predicts a surge in carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, with the greenlighting of Shell’s Polaris project marking the potential start of a wave. 

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson expects 20 to 25 large-scale CCS projects to begin construction within the next decade. 

This optimistic outlook follows the implementation of a new federal investment tax credit specifically for CCS initiatives.

“I do expect to see more carbon capture announcements in the coming months,” Wilkinson declared at a gathering of energy ministers in Calgary.

Relevant: Canada Oil And Gas Firms May Cut Production To Meet Emissions Cap

The tax credit, which covers up to half the capital cost of CCS projects, is seen as a game-changer for heavy industries hesitant to invest. Minister Wilkinson pointed directly to Shell’s Polaris project as a prime example, crediting the tax credit for its recent approval.

While Canada already boasts a handful of operational CCS projects, including Shell‘s existing Quest initiative, these have collectively captured only 44 million tonnes since 2000.  

However, the country’s ambitious emissions reduction plan envisions a significant boost in CCS capacity by 2030.

Relevant: Shell Announces New Carbon Capture And Storage Projects In Canada

This plan calls for Canada to slash emissions by 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. 

To achieve this, national CCS capacity would need to more than triple, capturing and storing at least 15 million metric tons of CO2 annually by 2030.

The International CCS Knowledge Centre, based in Regina, emphasizes the need for CCS implementation across various heavy industries, including power generation, cement production, steel and fertilizer manufacturing, mining, and petrochemical processing.

Eyes on the Oilsands Industry

While over 40 CCS project proposals currently exist in Canada, the oil and gas industry is behind the most high-profile project. 

Pathways Alliance, a coalition of oilsands companies, has proposed a massive $16.5 billion carbon capture pipeline transporting emissions from 14 oilsands sites for storage near Cold Lake.

This project, if completed, would be one of the world’s largest CCS initiatives. However, the Pathways companies haven’t made a final investment decision yet.

While previously critical of the oilsands industry’s perceived sluggishness, Minister Wilkinson expressed confidence in the eventual realization of the Pathways project: “We are still working a little bit on the structure of that. But I do believe that it will move forward. There’s just a bit more work to do to finish the job.”

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