Alberta’s Hydrogen Plans Bolstered by CCS Capacity
The government of Alberta’s plans to become a major force in the emerging blue hydrogen economy, sketched earlier this week in its Natural Gas Strategy & Vision, was bolstered by a report from the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) on October 7. It suggests the province and neighbouring Saskatchewan together have 190-640bn metric tons of CO2 storage capacity, or about 9% of the estimated onshore capacity in North America.
“The storage potential in these two provinces is significant, however, the wide range of estimates for Alberta and Saskatchewan highlights the uncertainties remaining for future CCS projects: storage site location and accessibility, long-term economic viability, type of storage, pressure toleration in the formations, future technology, costs, and policy trends,” the regulator said.
In the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL), which extends from CO2 sources at refineries, chemical and fertiliser plants northeast of Edmonton to carbon sequestration zones in central Alberta, producers have an asset that has access to an estimated 2bn mt of cumulative CO2 storage.
Fully operational since June, the ACTL will sequester up to 1.8mn mt/yr of CO2 from a refinery and a fertiliser plant, but it has the capacity to move as much as 14.6mn mt/yr of CO2 to sequestration locations.
In 2018, total emissions from Alberta’s refinery, chemical and fertiliser sectors were 14.7mn mt, the CER said. Emissions from industrial operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan together the same year amounted to about 250mn mt of CO2.