Aquistore has stored 500,000 tonnes of CO2 since opening

Aquistore has stored 500,000 tonnes of CO2 since opening

The milestone corresponds to the decommissioning of 125,000 vehicles for one year.

REGINA — The Petroleum Technology Research Center (PTRC) announced Wednesday that the Aquistore deep-salt carbon dioxide storage project, located two miles from SaskPower’s Boundary Dam power plant, has reached an impressive milestone.

It has permanently stored 500,000 tons of CO2, while the Boundary Dam power station produces over 120 MW of clean base load electricity.

“This represents a great success story for Saskatchewan,” said Ranjith Narayanasamy, CEO and President of PTRC. “Ten percent of the total amount of CO2 captured at the Boundary Dam was injected via the Aquistore well into the saline Deadwood Formation approximately 10,000 feet below ground for permanent storage.

“This is the world’s first project to successfully store CO2 in a deep saline aquifer of a coal-fired power plant, and it also clearly demonstrates that CO2 storage is safe and part of climate mitigation.”

The milestone corresponds to the decommissioning of 125,000 vehicles for one year.

Aquistore is the world’s largest industrial-scale test facility to study the measurement and monitoring of stored CO2 in a deep salt formation, and it has been a flagship project for companies and governments who are only now considering CCS as a viable solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Aquistore began injecting in 2015,” notes Erik Nickel, operations director at PTRC and senior manager of the Aquistore research team, “and we have formed partnerships with proponents of new CCS projects in Alberta, Saskatchewan and around the world who are seeking Aquistore -Recognitions when they start moving toward the injection.

“We were first, and our practical knowledge and insights are proving to be crucial for other projects.”

Much of Boundary Dam’s CO2 was sold by SaskPower to Whitecap for improved oil recovery, but the Aquistore program was what the PTRC called an “equally important proving ground for the permanent disposal of CO2” and has a steady stream of 200- 500 tons per day to advance the program.

“His insights into stopping and starting injection, monitoring pressure and geochemical changes, seismic imaging deep underground, and modeling CO2 movement are all world-leading research,” PTRC said in a press release.

The milestone of 500,000 tons underground has demonstrated the safety of such CO2 storage. With over 30 measurement and monitoring technologies deployed on site, the project has demonstrated the effectiveness of some technologies over others and helped reduce overall CCS costs.

Partners over the years have included companies and research groups from Japan, Korea, Canada, the United States, Australia and Europe.

“Aquistore is the first, but certainly not the last, deep brine CO2 storage project in Canada,” said Narayanasamy. “The real excitement lies in the importance of Aquistore in shaping the future of CCS as more projects come online in North America. The knowledge and expertise of PTRC has never been in greater demand than it is today. In fact, we are in the process of launching a course on CCS for industry and others, using some of our insights from Aquistore.

“COP 27 made it clear that CCUS is very important to reach the 2050 net zero targets and I am proud of our lead in this area. We must work to continue Saskatchewan’s advantage in the CCUS world.”

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