News Release - May 7, 2009
SASKATCHEWAN AND MONTANA JOIN FORCES ON CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE
Premier Brad Wall today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer to work together on the development of one of the largest international carbon capture and storage demonstration projects in the world.
Both the U.S. and Canadian federal governments have recognized carbon capture and storage as one of the key technologies in future international efforts to address climate change. Coal fired power generation results in significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the form of carbon dioxide.
"Today we are formalizing a new era of co-operation between our province and the State of Montana and building a clean energy future for our two countries," Wall said at the MOU signing. "We are taking the lead in the development of new technologies that capture carbon from coal and gas fired power generation, then store it deep underground. This project will help Saskatchewan to meet the federal government's target to reduce GHG emissions by 20 per cent below 2006 levels by 2020."
"CO2 is a global concern and it is time to work together to address this pressing issue," Schweitzer said. "Montana has 30 per cent of the coal in America and in order to use our coal we need a solution to CO2. I am honored to be a part of this important project."
The estimated of the total cost of the project in Canadian dollars is $270 million. On the Canadian side, it is approximately $150 million to design and build the CO2 reference plant, related CO2 pipeline infrastructure and a North American training facility for CCS technicians.
The Government of Saskatchewan will provide up to $50 million through Crown Investments Corporation and has requested funding of $100 million from the federal government through its Clean Energy Fund.
The State of Montana has requested $100 million (US) from the Government of the United States through the Department of Energy to support construction of a CO2 pipeline on the U.S. side of the border and development of the underground CO2 storage and research in the infrastructure in Montana.
"Both of our countries rely on coal as a low cost fuel for the majority of our power generation, but burning coal comes at a significant cost to our environment," Wall said. "This project will help us to meet our needs for power while developing new clean energy technologies to address the challenge of climate change."
Governor Schweitzer and Premier Wall agreed that the international carbon capture and storage demonstration project will also help address national policy priorities in both countries including the development of near zero, sustainable energy technologies; continental energy security and economic stimulus to support the North American economy.
A steering committee including Crown Investments Corporation President Ron Styles, SaskPower President Pat Youzwa and University of Regina President Vianne Timmons has been formed to oversee the Canadian component of the project. The committee will complete work on the development phase by August 31, 2009, including a full project plan, engineering design, business plan, detailed budget and construction timeline.
With the financial support of the Governments of Canada and the United States, construction of the plant could begin as early as September 2009 and the plant could be operational as early as the summer of 2011. The goal for the reference plant is to test a range of technologies in the capture of up to one million tonnes of CO2 over a four-year period.
For more information, contact:
Sarah J. Elliott