UpdateShell Canada carbon capture project to cost C$1.35bn

09 October 2009 20:32  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with comments from Shell Canada in paragraphs 1, 3-6)

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Shell’s planned carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at its Scotford oil sands and bitumen upgrader site in Canada’s Alberta province is estimated to cost Canadian dollars (C$) 1.35bn ($1.28bn), a company spokesman said on Friday.

Canada's federal and the Alberta provincial government said earlier that they would spend C$ 865m to help fund the CCS project under a letter of intent signed with Shell Canada.

Shell Canada spokesman Phil Vircoe told ICIS news that the CCS project would capture 1m tonnes/year of carbon dioxide from an existing upgrader and a second upgrader currently under construction.

This was equivalent to removing about 175,000 North American cars from the roads, he said.

While some preliminary engineering work had already started, the project was still in its early stages and Shell could not yet provide timelines for construction and completion, he said.

“We may be looking at about six years from now to completion,” Vircoe said, making a rough estimate.

Federal natural resources minister Lisa Raitt said in a statement that CCS was the most viable emissions-reducing technology for Canada.

The country has come under mounting international criticism over rising emissions from Alberta’s oil sands, in particular from the US where President Barack Obama has highlighted the industry as a concern.

In California, officials have talked about banning the import of oil from oil sands into the state because of the large carbon footprint of the Alberta extraction projects. The US is the largest market for Canadian oil and gas exports.

Meanwhile, Canada’s chemicals industry is looking to offgases from oil sands and bitumen upgrading as an important source of feedstocks to expand capacities and build new petrochemical plants in Alberta.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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