Alberta announces $30 million for carbon capture development to speed up deployment

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Alberta announces $30 million for carbon capture development to speed up deployment
The Quest Carbon Capture and Storage project at the Shell Scotford refinery near Fort Saskatchewan.
The Quest Carbon Capture and Storage project at the Shell Scotford refinery near Fort Saskatchewan. Postmedia, file

Alberta will spend $30 million to help speed up carbon capture design and engineering work, the UCP government announced Friday.

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The Carbon Capture Kickstart funding competition will support pre-construction work on carbon capture, direct air capture, and carbon transportation infrastructure projects, using cash from the Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund, Alberta’s carbon tax on large greenhouse-gas emitters.

In a pre-recorded video, Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon said ahead of a federal capital investment tax credit that’s been promised for this year, large facility operators have called for more support to de-risk hefty up-front investments in carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) projects.

“The capital investment required is substantial,” said Nixon, noting that the province aims to ensure there are projects ready to go with the introduction of government policies that are still in the works.

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“These policies will all be helped by expanding the knowledge base and capacity around CCUS opportunities, and by a roster of potential projects that can rapidly proceed once they come into effect,” said Nixon.

Arms-length provincial agency Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) will dole out the money to support feasibility studies, engineering and design costs, with applicants eligible for up to $7.5 million that must be matched by private investment.

ERA CEO Steve MacDonald said in a statement the effort is key to reaching net-zero emissions in the energy sector, and will encourage collaboration between industries to develop further technology and applications.

Proposals can include efforts to address emissions in power generation, cement production, and manufacturing. Those that receive the funding will need to publicly report on what they learned, and on project outcomes including greenhouse-gas reductions.

The application deadline is March 3 , with recipients to be announced in the summer.

lijohnson@postmedia.com

twitter.com/reportrix

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