The world’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project for an oil sands operation is set to be built in Canada.
The ‘Quest’ project by Shell will be built on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands project which is linked to the company’s Scotford Upgrader near Alberta.
The Athabasca oil sands contains black, oily material called bitumen, a byproduct of decomposed organic materials which is processed by Shell’s upgrader.
The new CCS plant is expected to capture and store more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year from 2015. Shell claims it will also cut direct emissions from the Scotford Upgrader by up to 35%, equivalent to taking 175,000 cars off the road every year.
CCS is a technology used to tackle global climate change and ensure a secure energy supply for the future. It captures carbon dioxide which is transported via pipelines and stored safely in deep underground structures.
Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell said: “Quest is important because it is a fully integrated project that will demonstrate existing capture, transportation, injection and storage technologies working together for the safe and permanent storage of CO2. The knowledge it provides will help to enable much wider and more cost-effective application of CCS through the energy industry and other sectors in years to come.”
The Alberta Government is set to invest $745 million (£468.6 million) in the project while the Government of Canada will invest $120 million (£75.4 million) through its Clean Energy Fund.