Canada-UK workshop on Enabling successful deployment of CCS technology, 16 March 2015

On Monday 16th March I went to the stunning Canada House in Trafalgar Square, London, to attend the Canada-UK workshop on “Enabling successful deployment of CCS technology”.

The workshop began with ‘An update on CCS activity in Canada’ and ‘2015 CCS outlook and challenges’ for the UK and Europe. Both countries presented their current projects. For the UK, Jennifer King from Capture Power Limited introduced the White Rose CCS project. The proposed White Rose project consists of an ultra-supercritical 426MWe Oxy-fuel power plant located at Drax Power Plant in Yorkshire. The plant will also have the potential to co-fire biomass. The CO2 will be transported through National Grid’s proposed pipeline for permanent undersea storage in the North Sea. The UK’s other proposed demonstration project would be the world’s first full-scale gas CCS project – the Peterhead CCS Project. Up to 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions could be captured from the Peterhead Power Station and transported by pipeline offshore for long-term storage deep under the North Sea. Tees Valley Unlimited presented the interesting ‘Teesside Low Carbon Project’ which would make Teesside Europe’s first centre for industrial CCS. It aims to retrofit carbon capture technology to four different industrial processes: steel, ammonia, hydrogen and polyethylene terephthalate production.

It is fair to say that Canada has been a leader in developing CCS technology. Aquistore (Weyburn) in Saskatchewan is Canada’s first CCS project and is already in commercial operation. SaskPower’s Boundary Dam project started capturing CO2 in October 2014. The retrofitted coal-fired unit 3 produces 120 MW of power from its new 160 MW turbine, meaning the capture island and other traditional energy drawing features use about 40 MW of the total capacity. For non-power projects, Shell’s Quest project near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, will start running later this year. Spectra Energy’s Fort Nelson project at Scotford Upgrader will be ready in 2018.

The mechanisms and incentives towards successful deployment were discussed at the workshop. Opportunities for collaboration were also explored.

Now, the UK has moved into the second phase of our CCS plan. The ambition is to build a 10 GW CCS sector by 2030, so the UK is keen to learn from Canada’s experience to avoid duplication and to speed the efficient implementation of CCS.